HYDERABAD-MUMBAI-BENGALURU (Courtsy By Economic Times): B Ramalinga Raju has been found guilty of embezzling from the IT company he founded in a verdict that was widely expected, bringing to a close the trial in India's most high-profile case of corporate fraud. Raju, 60, the founder of the erstwhile Satyam Computer Services, was sentenced by Special CBI Court Judge BVLN Chakravarthi to seven years in jail and fined Rs 5 crore for his part in falsifying the firm's books to the tune of Rs 7,136 crore.
His brother Rama Raju received identical punishment while eight others — his relatives, employees and executives of audit firm PriceWaterhouse — were each given jail terms of 7 years and asked to pay Rs 25 lakh as fine.
"It is a great lesson to fledgling entrepreneurs that there are no shortcuts to success. While you need to be ambitious and aggressive in growing your business, you have to do it with utmost respect for the laws of land," said Krishankumar Natarajan, the CEO of Mindtree and a former chairman of software industry grouping Nasscom.
Raju confessed to the fraud in January 2009 after a failed attempt to reverse-merge Satyam — then believed to be India's fourth-largest IT firm with 50,000 employees — with his privately owned realty and infrastructure businesses. Worried the scandal could damage India's reputation and cause the loss of thousands of jobs, the government stepped in to supersede the board and arranged the sale of Satyam to the Mahindra Group in an auction.