Saturday, January 17, 2009

Satyam's money was stolen

Remember Raju, who said "he benefited not one cent by the fraud?" A week ago I said this:

And Raju, a known thief, in his resignation letter said he benefited by not one cent in this fraud. Now it looks like a billion dollars:

In today's NY Times we have the latest version:

The founder of Satyam Computer Services, B. Ramalinga Raju, skimmed huge amounts of cash from the company, rather than padding its books as he has claimed, a person involved in the investigation of the company said on Saturday.

Investigators looking into the fraud that has been called India’s Enron have found a “maze” of about 300 companies related to Mr. Raju that were used to “siphon” as much as $1 billion in cash from Satyam, said a senior official involved in the inquiry, who was granted anonymity to discuss developments in the case.

The picture emerging from the investigation of Satyam, one of India’s largest technology outsourcing companies, is vastly different from the one painted by Mr. Raju in a confession that stunned corporate India earlier this month.

Mr. Raju, who was Satyam’s chairman, said in a letter to the company’s board on Jan. 7 that about $1 billion of the company’s cash was “non-existent” and that he had falsified its profits for years to avoid losing control of the company. But the person involved in the investigation said that despite Mr. Raju’s claim that he had padded profits, he relied on hundreds of companies to divert money from Satyam.

These companies are registered to Mr. Raju and members of his family. Figuring out what, exactly, happened at Satyam “is becoming increasingly complicated,” this person said, adding that investigators had not figured out where all the missing money wound up.

Which means that SAY, at $1.10 cents is a buy.

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