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Thursday, June 8, 2023

I-T Dept freezes FDs of Viresh Joshi in Axis MF front-running case

In a latest development in the alleged front-running case involving Axis Mutual Fund, the Income Tax Department has freezed fix deposits worth Rs 57 crore belonging to its former chief trader and fund manager, Viresh Joshi.

The I-T Department said that the FDs in four separate banks were acquired through illegal means, including front-running etc.

Front-running is the illegal use of advance information leaked to brokers by mutual fund staff. Tips on impending purchases give the trader an advantage over others and is a sure-shot way to make big bucks.

Earlier, 12 fund managers who were on the radar of the I-T Department were questioned in connection with the case.

Jinesh Gopani, head of equity at Axis MF, and Pawan Jhangiani, a dealer at Axis MF, were reportedly questioned by the I-T officials.

On July 28, the I-T sleuths had conducted raids at the premises of Viresh Joshi who was on their radar since May after it was found that he was in possession of a Lamborghini car and luxury apartments in Mumbai.

It has been alleged that Joshi acquired all these assets through front-running.

The I-T officials had recorded the statements of Joshi and a few other brokers. They also gathered information from SEBI before conducting the raids.

Joshi has been accused of taking bribe from brokers in lieu of sharing tips on mutual funds. It has also been alleged that brokers used to pay him monthly. Joshi allegedly invested in mutual funds by buying many midcap and smallcap stocks to benefit the brokers and himself.

In May, the I-T Department had formed a team of its elite officials to look into the alleged front-running scam involving Axis Mutual Fund.

Since then, around 12 fund managers, including Joshi, are on the radar of the tax department.

The I-T officials found that the accused persons didn’t furnish details about their real estate possessions, including commercial and non-commercial assets, in their tax filing.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed.)

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