Bhubaneswar– A special CBI court here on Thursday awarded seven-year imprisonment to Artha Tatwa (AT) Group chief Pradeep Sethi for duping hundreds of depositors in the Odisha chit fund scam.

The Special Chief Judicial Magistrate court of the Central Bureau of Investigation also awarded four-year imprisonment to Manoj Patnaik, one of the directors of the company, for his involvement in the scam.

The court also slapped a fine of Rs 30,000 on Sethi and Rs 10,000 on Patnaik.

It has asked the Artha Tatwa Group to deposit Rs 250 crore to return the depositors’ money within a stipulated time or else the attached properties of the company would be auctioned to realise the dues, said sources in the CBI.

On Wednesday, during a deposition before the court Sethi and Patnaik accepted their involvement in the chit fund scam.

Earlier, both had written to the CBI special court and accepted their involvement in the chit fund scam.

They were lodged in Jharpara Special Jail after their arrest in 2013 in connection with the scam.

More than 20 officials of the group have been held in the case so far. The group has allegedly cheated depositors in Odisha of more than Rs 500 crore.

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