Agham Singh, 18, missed a year of college after losing money to Vivek Bindra’s alleged scam. 700 victims have filed a complaint with Delhi Police.
Sanjay | February 9, 2024 | 07:40 PM IST
NEW DELHI: Agham Singh had to take a year’s break from his undergraduate studies after being allegedly “scammed” by Bada Business Pvt. Ltd. (BBPL) and its managing director Vivek Bindra, last year. The 18-year-old Delhi resident is a cancer survivor and among the thousands of alleged BBPL scam victims.
Singh cleared his Class 12 board examination in 2022-23 and has been sitting idle since April 2023 due to the “bad financial condition” of his family after losing over Rs 40,000 in the alleged Vivek Bindra scam. He survived adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cancer in which the bone marrow produces too many lymphocytes.
Like many other victims, Singh came to know about the Independent Business Consultants (IBC) programme of BBPL through Youtube and Facebook videos. He trusted BBPL and filled a form only to “receive constant calls from BBPL looting his parents' money”. Singh is a participant in a complaint against Bada Business filed with the Delhi Police’s Economic Offences Wing on Thursday, February 8. The complaint alleges that the IBC is a Ponzi scheme – a form of fraud.
“On his exam day, we received a call from an IBC of BBPL who said, ‘Why are you sending him to school? enroll him in our IBC course and he will do something in his life.’ I told the BBPL person that my son has been suffering from ALL cancer since the age of three. The BBPL person told me that ‘IBC would be best for him and he will make it big in his life’. My son was so impressed by the BBPL person’s advice that he was telling me that he did not want to sit for the board exams and wanted to enroll himself in the IBC programme,” Inderjeet Kaur, Singh’s mother, a homemaker, told Careers360.
Cancer treatment is expensive. “It has been a struggle to raise a cancer patient's son. He is a cancer survivor now,” she said.
Singh now regrets his decision to enroll in the IBC programme last year.
“If I had not enrolled, I would have been studying in college, now. We have lost Rs 40,120 in this scam. I was travelling to the BBPL office in Delhi’s Janakpuri and used to spend Rs 100 daily. There, I used to get trained in how to fool other people. My future has been destroyed by Vivek Bindra and his team. I have wasted a year in this scam and lost several years in treatment,” he said.
Kaur said that her family is now struggling to make ends meet as Singh’s father’s business collapsed during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I demand from Delhi Police and other government agencies to take action against Vivek Bindra and BBPL so that we can get our hard-earned money back,” she added.
A criminal complaint has been filed against Bada Business Pvt. Ltd. (BBPL) and its managing director Vivek Bindra, director and Chief Operations Officer (COO) Sunil Chopra and director Tushar Gupta with Delhi Police’s Economic Offences Wing (EOW) at Mandir Marg, Gole Market, in the national capital on February 8. A total of 46 victims or complainants from Delhi were physically present during the filing of the complaint on Thursday.
The complaint have been filed under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 405 (criminal breach of trust), 409 (the offence of criminal breach of trust by a public servant, banker, merchant, or agent), 415 (deceiving any person), 418 (cheating with knowledge that wrongful loss may ensue to person whose interest offender is bound to protect), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 463 (forgery) read with relevant sections of the ‘Prize Chits and Monetary Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act, 1978’.
According to the complaint submitted to Delhi Police, the complainants are buyers and victims of the ‘Independent Business Consultants' (IBC) Ponzi scheme that is sold and promoted by the accused, particularly by Bindra and others through a criminal conspiracy”.
Over 700 victims, many Delhi residents among them, are in the process of forming and registering a "Bada Business Victims Association".
Accused Bindra made repeated fraudulent claims with assured guaranteed returns of lakhs of money even to people who had failed to complete senior school (standard 8), alleges the complaint.
He also used names of big personalities to mislead people.
“Like any ponzi and money circulation scheme, it preyed on and exploited the lack of financial stability and then enticed victims through dishonest, false and misleading promises to make quick and easy money. To further buttress the claims, names of big personalities including cabinet ministers (Nitin Gadkari); Startup Unicorn Founders (Ritesh Aggarwal, 0YO Rooms) were included as "Professors", though they taught nothing to the students,” the complaint alleges.
On February 7, Balaji Srinivasan, CEO, MITRA Robot, tweeted that his name and picture was being used by the accused as "Professor" without his consent and it was a case of false advertising.
Bindra also offered free videos, webinars, physical conferences, courses or introductory sessions. “One recent free course is a, “10 day MBA” course that has created popularity for the accused. This has enabled the accused to generate credibility and ‘leads’ for their paid offerings and pressurize the complainants into making payments,” the complaint alleges. All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) has that it has “no policy to give (an) MBA Programme of 10 days.”
Based on the “leads” generated, BBPL allegedly targeted the complainants through repeated calls. The pricing structure of the IBC ponzi scheme is either through a lump sum payment ranging between Rs. 60,000 and Rs 80,000 or through a payment plan that is financed through an EMI of Rs 92,000 from a non-banking finance company (NBFC) associated with Bindra
“Many of the complainants were initially pressured to make a token Rs, 6,000 to Rs 8,000 for availing a limited period discount. Subsequently, many lacking financial capacity were forced to take credit cards, or sell or mortgage their jewelry, land, and motorbikes,” the complaint alleged.
Another way the accused Bindra and his team allegedly entrapped the complainants was by promising a “100% money back guarantee”.
“The accused first assured returns of more than Rs 1 Lakhs per month to the victims and then assured them that in case of dissatisfaction, they could claim a refund. However, BBPL did not describe any clear conditions for the refunds and varied its terms when claims by several complainants for refunds so they could pay back their loans and debts taken for payment for the IBC ponzi scheme. The accused with criminal and malafide intention denied them any refund claiming it was a skill training course and thereby cheated them,” says the complaint.
The complainants have requested the Delhi Police to take cognizance of the matter and register a first information report (FIR) against the accused.
Disclosure | The alleged victims written about here came into contact with Bada Business and IBCs 2020 onwards. However, they came into contact with Careers360 after its founder and CEO, Maheshwar Peri spoken up about the case on social media and other media platforms.
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