New Delhi: Media baron and The Quint founder Raghav Bahl used his shell company to launder money and evade tax — the promoter of PMC Fincorp has admitted to tax officials under oath. MyNation has exclusive access to the damning testimony of Raj Kumar Modi, who allegedly did the black-to-white money conversion for Bahl and his wife Ritu Kapur.

Modi named Bahl and his wife, among others, as the major beneficiaries of his money laundering operations through PMC Fincorp. “So far as I remember, Ritu Kapoor and Raghav Bahl got Rs 100 crore converted,” Modi said in his statement.

Modi’s testimony seriously undermines Bahl’s allegation that income tax raids on his establishments were baseless and done because he was critical of the BJP government.
PMC Fincorp is a ‘penny stock’ or ‘briefcase company’ that exists only on paper without any actual assets or operations. He used it for money laundering.

Testifying under oath in front of income tax department officials on October 11 after a raid at his Greater Kailash house, Modi gave details of his modus operandi and how Bahl was involved in making tax-free money by investing in PMC Fincorp.

Bahl and his wife are accused of investing a meagre Rs 3.03 crore in shell company PMC Fincorp in 2011-12 and making almost Rs 120 crore profit by 2014-15 when they ceased operations with the company.

The shares of the bogus company were artificially inflated, with no relation to its financials, and then sold when the price peaked. When Bahl offloaded his shares, the all-time high value of PMC Fincorp share on November 28, 2014, was Rs 109. After the sale of share, the value of the stock dipped to just 47 paise on February 2, 2017. While Kapur has been alleged to have made Rs4.38 crore, Bahl made Rs 119.09 crore.

Nailing testimony

Modi said the intermediaries between Bahl and him were chartered accountants Mohan Lal Jain and Madhu Sudan Goyal, their offices at Prabhat Kiran building in Rajinder Place in Delhi. “His employee Kamlesh used to come for delivery of cash. His mobile number is on my mobile phone,” Modi told I-T officials.

Asked to explain the “sharp rise in the prices followed by the yet sharper decline” of PMC stocks, Modi said, “I have stated in my response to an earlier question on the price movement, the financials of the company have no correlation with the movement in share prices. With respect to the sharp rise in prices, I would like to state that the prices of the share have been rigged for the purpose of bogus long-term capital gain.”

Listed in the Kanpur Stock Exchange from 1985, Modi had acquired PMC Fincorp in 2003.

Modi recalled how his books of accounts started reflecting from 2003 to 2009 the name of Puja Fiscal Services Pvt Ltd in the list of shareholders of PMC Fincorp which could be verified “from the annual returns of the company”.

“In my register of members, the name of Mr Raghav Bahl and Mrs Ritu Kapur started appearing in the place of Puja Fiscal Services Pvt Ltd from 2009 onwards. The change of name in my shareholder register occurred when Mr Raghv Bahl had desired to avail bogus LTCG (Long Term Capital Gain) through his CA Mohan Lal from my scrip Priti Mercantile Ltd,” Modi said in his testimony. “Then I asked a person/broker/sub-broker to arrange the bills of share transfer from above mentioned eight companies to Raghav Bahl and Ritu Kapur.” The broker had taken money in a cheque from Raghav Bahl, he said.

Modus operandi

Modi said “the persons desirous of obtaining bogus LTGC” contacted him.

“These persons approached me through their CAs. These persons were promised LTCG exempt returns of about 10-15 times by me. The amount for the purchase of shares of the company PMC Fincorp were paid to me through cheques issued in the name of the company holding the shares,” Modi said.

These shares were transferred—in Demat as well physical form—to the concerned individuals through the Registrar of Companies.

“The amount received through cheque against the purchase of shares was returned to the concerned person in cash,” Modi explained.

“When these beneficiaries wanted to liquidate their holdings,” Modi said, “they would hand over the amount in cash to me. The cheque for this amount was used to be arranged by me from certain persons/concerns on payment of commission to them who needed cash in lieu of cash. In return, cash was paid to them by me. These persons/concerns charged commission at the rate of 0.3-.35% of the total amount which was used to be paid in cash.”

MyNation tried to contact Raghav Bahl for his reaction to the allegation but got no response to the emails and messages.