Odisha EOW nabs ponzi firm MD for Rs 50 crore fraud

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Bhubaneswar, (Reporterspen), May 28: The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Odisha apprehended the managing director (MD) of Way to Add India Pvt Ltd on Tuesday for allegedly defrauding investors of Rs 50 crore. The arrested individual, identified as Mohan Kumar Parida from Kandagardi in Bhadrak, was apprehended in Chandbali.

As per an EOW statement, the case stemmed from a complaint filed by Chhita Ranjan Palo of Kalinga Nagar, Bhubaneswar. The complaint alleged that the company and its MD, who holds an MBA degree, along with others, enticed investors with promises of high returns—26% interest per month for three months—under various schemes such as autopool and boosting packages. Additionally, investors were assured a 2% bonus for enrolling new members.

Investors were required to join the schemes by paying a non-refundable fee of Rs 2,500 and were provided with a login ID to enroll additional members for commission. While initially receiving Ayurvedic products worth Rs 500, this benefit was later discontinued. Despite some initial returns, the MD abruptly terminated the schemes, closed the company office, and absconded after amassing Rs 50 crore from 2,000 investors in Odisha, the EOW investigation uncovered.

In 2023, Palo deposited Rs 44.60 lakh and initially received a return of Rs 12,600. However, subsequent payments ceased, according to the release.

Way to Add India (P) Ltd, registered with the Registrar of Companies (ROC) in Cuttack in 2020, operated from its registered office at Prachi Vihar, Palasuni, Rasulgarh. The company purportedly operated a Ponzi scheme using a pyramid-binary structure, soliciting public deposits without authorization from RBI or SEBI. Instead of issuing money receipts, the company instructed investors to deposit funds directly into its accounts. Initial returns were funded by investments from new members, and the collected funds were diverted to multiple accounts, the statement concluded.

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