An Indian businessman accused of defrauding a group of lenders of more than $1 billion has appeared in a London court to gain access to frozen financial assets.
Jatin Mehta was allegedly the central figure in a complex fraud scheme, securing a fortune from an Indian gold bullion and jewelry maker and a diamond company.
The alleged scam involved a website including companies in the United Arab Emirates, Britain, Singapore and Ireland, as well as fraudulent derivatives trading, gold trading and defaults to conceal the transfer of funds to fraudulent destinations.
In 2013, Mehta was the head of two companies – Winsome Diamonds and Jewelery and Forever Precious Diamonds and Jewelery – when they defaulted on loans owed to 15 Indian lenders.
Earlier this month, Mehta launched proceedings in the High Court in London for the enforcement of a Global Freezing Order (WFO) which was issued in May for $932 million in assets.
In a court filing, lawyers for Mehta alleged that Standard Chartered’s Indian unit and liquidation company Grant Thornton used “sleight of hand” to freeze Mehta’s assets.
According to reports from Bloomberg Newslead attorney Andrew Hunter argued that Mehta is “as much a victim of what happened as the bank consortium”.
Coming from a diamond and jewelry family, Mehta entered the industry in 1985 when he founded Su-Raj Diamonds.
Following the collapse of his two businesses in 2013, Mehta became a citizen of Saint Kitts and Nevis, a country that does not have an extradition treaty with India. Since then, it has been reported that Mehta and her family have been living in London.
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