Pune police in Maharashtra have registered a case against top officials of Goodwin Jewellers after 88 depositors alleged that they were duped of over Rs 3 crore by the jewellery group, police said on Wednesday.
The jewellery group shut its outlets in Thane, Palghar, Mumbai and other parts of the state a couple of days before Diwali, leaving hundreds of people, who had invested in their gold and fixed deposit schemes, in the lurch.
An official at Koregaon Park police station here said according to the depositors, they were promised good returns on their investment in the jewellery group's schemes.
He said the depositors alleged that they made investments collectively worth Rs 3.1 crore in the schemes since last year, but did not get returns as promised.
Based on the complaints, the case was registered on Tuesday under Indian Penal Code Sections 420 (cheating), 406 (criminal breach of trust), 34 (common intention) and the Maharashtra Protection of Interests of Depositors in Financial Establishments (MPID) Act, the official said.
The Thane police's Economic Offences Wing (EOW) is already probing against Goodwin Jewellers for allegedly cheating hundreds of investors of several crore rupees, an official earlier said.
The alleged fraud came to light in Thane's Dombivali town where a few duped investors filed the first complaint against the group owners A M Sunilkumar and A M Sudheshkumar, following which cases were registered at Manickpur in Vasai (Palghar), Naupada in Thane and Shivaji Nagar in Ambernath, an official said.
Following agitation by customers and investors, the group's owners released a video on social media wherein they blamed people with vested interests and business rivals for their losses.
The jewellery chain owners, who hail from Kerala, told the affected customers that their money was "safe" and promised to return it.