India’s Startup co-founder held for defrauding eight

A 30-year-old startup entrepreneur was arrested here on Friday for allegedly cheating at least eight persons and business firms of over Rs 64 lakh.

Oindrila Dasgupta of Delhi, co-founder of Eat.Shop.Love (ESL) and a resident of CV Raman Nagar, east Bengaluru for some years before she moved to New Delhi recently , allegedly used her husband’s bank account in one case.

The fraud came to light when police were investigating a complaint filed against Oindrila by her husband Shayak Sen, a private company employee and resident of Sarjapur, southeast Bengaluru.

ESL, launched in July 2014, was an online fashion store and had raised Rs 22 crore in March this year from a UK-based investor. It was later purchased by a Tata Group online venture. Oindrila who hails from Jamshedpur, did a media studies course in Bengaluru and a course in social media marketing at Indian Institute of Management, Bengaluru. She is a mother of two kids.

Police said Oindrila duped at least seven persons in the past seven months. “We’re verifying if more people were cheated,” a police officer said.

N Satheesh Kumar, joint commissioner of police (crime), said cybercrime police of the Central Crime Branch summoned Oindrila for questioning on Thursday in connection with a case filed by Shayak Sen who alleged that she had misused his bank account details to collect lakhs of rupees from several people. Oindrila Dasgupta, 30, co-founder of startup Eat.Shop.Love (ESL), was arrested on Friday for allegedly cheating at least eight persons and firms of over Rs 64 lakh. The fraud came to light when police were probing a complaint filed by her husband Shayak Sen.

Shayak alleged she got them to deposit money into his account and later transferred it to her account without informing him. Probe revealed Oindrila had cheated at least seven people, some of whom had filed police complaints in March. Some had accused Shayak of colluding with his wife, but police said their probe revealed he had no role.

“The initial probe confirmed she had committed the offence and hence we arrested her and produced her before the court on Friday. The court remanded her in judicial custody,” Satheesh Kumar said.

Police didn’t arrest Oindrila earlier in the belief that the allegations could be business misunderstandings and could be resolved soon. After questioning her, police summoned victims of her fraud and recorded statements.

Ashok Kinha, Whitefield resident and owner of a business firm, said Oindrila approached him, posing as the owner of a startup this March.She claimed she had sold her firm for Rs 36 crore and planned to invest Rs 20 crore in Kinha’s business venture. Kinha readily agreed to take Oindrila as a business partner and she issued him a post-dated cheque for Rs 4.3 crore as initial investment.

Oindrila also sought Rs 58 lakh from Kinha for emergency medical expenses for her husband, who she said was suffering from cancer.

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