New Delhi: Actor Prakash Raj has been summoned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for questioning in connection with an alleged ₹100-crore Ponzi scheme linked to Pranav Jewellers, a Trichy-based chain where he served as the brand ambassador. The ED conducted raids on the jewellery chain’s branches in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, including Chennai, following accusations of running a Ponzi scheme and defrauding investors of ₹100 crore.
Pranav Jewellers, formerly endorsed by Prakash Raj, faced closure in October amidst complaints. The Economic Offences Wing in Trichy filed a case against the owner, Madhan, who is now subject to lookout notices along with his wife.
The ED’s statement revealed that Pranav Jewellers collected ₹100 crore through a gold investment scheme promising lucrative returns. However, the returns never materialized, and investors were not reimbursed. The ED alleges that Pranav Jewellers, along with connected individuals, deceived the public by diverting funds to shell entities under the pretext of purchasing bullion/gold ornaments.
According to the ED, during the investigation, supplier parties in Pranav Jewellers’ books confessed to providing bogus entries amounting to over ₹100 crore. They also admitted to providing cash to the accused individuals instead of bank payments.
Prakash Raj, the renowned actor and former brand ambassador, has yet to make a statement on the matter. The ED’s actions follow the closure of Pranav Jewellers and the initiation of legal proceedings against its owner for orchestrating the alleged Ponzi scheme.