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More Arrests at Satyam

Three more are being held for complicity in the vast multibillion-dollar fraud

A vice president, senior manager and assistant manager of Satyam Computer Services' finance department were arrested late Sunday by the country's Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and are being held for complicity in the vast multibillion-dollar fraud perpetrated by the company's founder and ex-CEO B Ramalinga Raju, who confessed in January that he padded the books for years.

The agency, India's version of the FBI, said in a statement, "A lot of incriminating documents have been retrieved from those accused, establishing their complicity in the crimes."

They were identified as G Ramakrishna, Danthuluri Venkatpati Raju and Srisailam Chetkuru. It is unclear if Raju is related to the founder.

The founder, his brother, Satyam's ex-managing director Rama Raju, and the company's ex-CFO Srinivas Vadlamani were arrested in January when the scheme unraveled. They remain in jail.

Vadlamani confessed over the weekend that he had taken part in the fraud and fingered a team of people in the finance department who, he said, created a massive paper trail of phony invoices, forged balance sheets, and counterfeit bank statements to cover up the fraud.

Two of Satyam's PricewaterhouseCoopers auditors were arrested some weeks ago but Vadlamani cleared them, telling authorities they had relied on the fake documents.

However, according to moneycontrol.com, a local financial portal, Ramakrishna, the newly arrested VP of finance, implicated the auditors and said they helped fabricate the spurious documentation.

Allegedly the bogus paperwork was limited to maybe only the records of three dozen of Satyam's 600 customers.

A 51% piece of Satyam is currently up for auction; it is unclear what kind of a price it will fetch. The company needs the money just to operate. Last May it was valued at $7 billion. Now its market cap is ~$963 million and that's only after the stock jumped 45% on news of the arrests.

The investigation continues. The scale of the rip-off has yet to be plumbed. Meanwhile, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has charged Satyam and its founder with money laundering and diverting Satyam funds.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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