BENGALURU: The CBI is investigating a “revised tax returns” fraud involving several unknown employees of Infosys Technologies, officials from the I-T department and one fake CA from Bengaluru.
This scam, benefiting employees of bellwether IT companies, was unearthed by the I-T department in late January According to the FIR, a copy of which is with TOI, some I-T officials and a few staffers of Infosys connived with the fake CA — now disowned by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) — and filed 1,010 revised tax returns using forged documents in the names of 250 taxpayers of various private firms, during three assessment years and claimed refunds illegally.
Infosys is the vendor for the I-T department to process e-returns. While fake chartered accountant Nagesh Shastri was filing the returns, the CBI says I-T officials and Infosys staff allowed these returns to circumvent the system and get the required approvals. An Infosys spokesperson said the company did not want to comment without seeing the FIR.
Nagesh Shastri (Accused-1), partner of SSK Associates, in connivance with unknown officials of the CPC, I-T department, and unknown private persons, had filed the fraudulent returns and claimed Rs 5 crore refunds by submitting false information. “The processing of e-returns is outsourced to Infosys Technologies Limited, who validate the returns in bulk and generate list of cases where refunds have to be approved. The Assessing Officers of the I-T department posted in CPC give the approval for release of refunds to assessees through their bank accounts,” according to the FIR.
The CBI found that the assessment system tags revised returns and gives pop-up messages to draw the attention of the person processing them and also to assessing officers who approve refunds. “The unknown officials of Infosys Technologies who were entrusted with the work of processing the returns and the I-T officials at CPC, who were authorised to approve issue of refunds are suspected to have connived with Shastri in processing these revised returns based on false information or documents knowingly and issued income-tax refunds,” the FIR reads.
Shastri, who had been assisting several private sector salaried employees to file returns of income over the past few years, had access to their user identity and passwords.