Bhubaneshwar, Orissa

Venkat Vempati has been accused of being involved in embezzlement of funds from the trust of his now demised father. The trust, found by his father in 2007 is primarily concerned with providing free education, meals and clothes to meritorious underprivileged children. His actions however have not only brought shame to his family but also the legacy left by his deceased father.

Venkat Vempati very cleverly channelized the trust's funds into a dummy corporation which he heads by way of floatation of tender and then used his influence in the Trust's board to select the tender floated by his company. It was then just a matter of providing substandard goods and materials to the trust and putting the lives of all the children in grave danger.

The fraud was only discovered last month during the course of an internal audit and the investigation is now being headed by a seven member committee under the Ministry of Culture. As many as five dummy corporations have been unearthed so far which all point in the direction of Venkat Vempati. They range from clothing mills to hospitality services to consumer durable goods.

Scams and fraud have been a subject of common affair in India and the initial surprise that one finds himself on hearing of a new scam has long foregone. One can only hope that a thorough inspection is carried out into all the dealings of Venkat Vempati for the last 5 years and that perpetuators and defaulters be brought to justice. Stringent action is the need of the hour and the Ministry should make an example out of this.

Monetary Loss: $1000.

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