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Staff dupe fashion designer Ritu Kumar, arrested

Tuesday, 13 November 2012 - 8:00am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
The arrested staffers had pocketed Rs1.35cr from sale proceeds at her Lower Parel store.

Renowned fashion designer Ritu Kumar was duped of Rs1.35 crore by four of her employees. According to the police, Kumar lodged the complaint on October 25 after it was ascertained in the audit that there was a difference of a large amount in the company’s accounts. Acting on this, the designer first fired the four employees and then approached the police.

The four employees have been identified as Natasha Jawali, Sachin Ghorkindi, Shraddha Suyankar and Pragati Kanojia. Jawali was the regional manager, Ghorkindi an accountant and the other two were sales girls.

Explaining the modus operandi of the accused, an officer from the NM Joshi police station said, “The designer owns a boutique in the Raghuvanshi Mill compound in Lower Parel. Jawali was the mastermind behind this. She was also in charge of six other stores the designer owns in the city. They would not tamper with the purchases made by credit cards, but they provide fake receipts to clients who made their purchases in cash.”

The four of them would pocket this cash instead of depositing it in the company’s account. They had been cheating Kumar since 2011, with Jawali bagging the bigger share. When the designer found that there was no accountability of Rs1.35 crore in an 18-month period, she suspected foul play.  They noticed maximum problems in the Lower Parel boutique.

Even after the designer found out about the misappropriation and the involvement of her employees, she gave them an opportunity to return the money. When  they did not follow through, her manager Vikas approached the police.

The four accused have been remanded to police custody till November 16.

Modus Operandi

  • The four of them would pocket the money from cash purchases made at Ritu Kumar's boutique in Lower Parel, instead of depositing it in the company’s account
  • After the designer found out about the misappropriation, she gave them an opportunity to return the money and approached the police when they did not follow through

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