I-T raids ex-fund manager Viresh Joshi’s premises

The Income Tax Department has conducted raids at the premises belonging to former Chief Trader and Fund Manager of Axis Mutual Fund, Viresh Joshi, in connection with alleged tax evasion.

The raids were conducted on Saturday.

Joshi was sacked in May by the Axis Asset Management Company over allegations of front-running. The Axis Bank had said that it had on May 4 suspended Joshi and other fund managers on the charge of alleged front-running.

Joshi was on the radar of the I-T department since May after it found that the latter was in possession of a Lamborghini and luxury apartments in Mumbai.

It has been alleged that Joshi acquired all these allegedly through front-running.

The I-T department has recorded the statements of Joshi and a few other brokers. They gathered information from SEBI before conducting raids on the premises linked to them.

Joshi has been accused of taking bribes from the brokers in lieu of sharing tips. It was also alleged that brokers used to pay him on a monthly basis. Joshi allegedly invested in mutual funds by buying many Midcap and smallcap stocks to benefit the brokers and himself.

The I-T department had in May formed a team of its elite officials to look into the alleged front-running scam at the Axis Mutual Fund. Since then around 12 fund managers, including Joshi, were on the radar of the I-T department.

The Income Tax Department was surprised as the alleged accused did not furnish information about their real estate in the tax filing which was later detected.

The I-T department in its preliminary inquiry found that the fund managers had a number of commercial and non commercial assets which they allegedly hid in their tax filing. They had even shown that they were not earning from their real estate.

The I-T department has learnt that the fund managers were earning rent from their properties on which the tax was not paid. The department is also looking into their source of income, as to how the fund managers were able to buy luxurious apartments and other properties.

Now, the fund managers are facing the tax evasion case and there are also possibilities that they might face a parallel probe of their source of income.

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