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A local court in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district today convicted three persons of a West Bengal-based ponzi company for cheating depositors of money.

The court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Baripada, sentenced Debasis Mahanta, the director of Happy Life Reality India Limited, to five years’ rigorous imprisonment while two other agents were punished with 4 years’ RI each.Delhi State Consumer Commission

CJM Sanjay Kumar Sahu said Mahanta would be subjected to one more year’s RI in case of defaut in payment of penalty of Rs 1 lakh.

Two agents, who have also been fined with Rs 50,000 each along with 4 years’ RI for defrauding the investors, were local school teachers.

They were identified as Pranab Behera of Badakhilari School and Jevaan Kumar Das of Sidhupura School. Both of them were on bail while Mahata was still in the jail after their arrest in 2013.

Bhagabat Behera, an investor, had lodged a complaint against six persons after being duped by the ponzi company.

While three persons were arrested, three others from West Bengal were absconding. They were booked under relevant sections of the Prize Cheat and Money Circulation Ban Act 1978.

The company had taken Rs 1,20,000 from Behera in two tranches with assuarnce of returning the amount at 24 per cent interest.

The incident is said to be the first conviction in Odisha in relation to the chit fund scam.

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