SEBI, the capital markets watchdog, has reclaimed its power to act against ponzi schemes (network and pyramid schemes, named after the US fraudster Charles Ponzi), illegal deposit schemes and access call records in securities-related offences. The relevant ordinance has been okayed by the President.
The ordinance prescribes compulsory registration with SEBI for any scheme involving a poo of more than Re. 100 crore. The regulator will also have the powers of search, seizure, attachment and recovery. Last month only, the CBI revealed a scam involving Re. 45,000 crore in an alleged fraud by a Delhi-based private company which had collected investments from over 5 crore investors. The money was raised in a collective investment pool in the garb of sale and development of farm land. Before this, West Bengal had witnessed the notorious Sardha chit fund scam, involving lakhs of people, who were cheated of over Re. 2,000 crore.