Leena Maria Paul, who played the part of a fiery Tamil rebel in John Abraham starrer 'Madras Cafe' in 2013, was arrested on Tuesday along with her live-in partner Sekar Chandrashekhar for running a ponzi scheme, says a Mumbai Mirror report. The couple, along with four others — Adil Akhtar Jaipuri, Akhtar Hussain Jaipuri, Salman Rizvi, and Nasir Jaipuri — were charged with cheating people by promising them 300% returns on investments in their (bogus) firm, Lion Oak India.
More than 1,000 people had invested in this firm, reportedly impressed with the couple's lavish lifestyle. The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai Police, which made the arrest, seized the following from them: 117 imported watches worth Rs 1.17 crore, 12 mobile phones worth Rs 37 lakh, 9 expensive cars (brands such as Audi, Maserati, Bentley etc) worth Rs 5 crore, a bike worth Rs 23 lakh, and Rs 3.5 lakh in cash.
Investors, who were encouraged to put in between Rs 5,000 and 5 lakh, were promised returns of about 20% a month as well as a Tata Nano. The police says that the couple and their accomplices took special care to make the entire operation look genuine, such as issuing transaction certificates to clients and notary agreements that looked legit but were entirely fake.
This is not the first time the actress and her partner have been involved in something like this. In May 2013, the two were arrested for allegedly cheating Canara Bank in Chennai. They, allegedly, took a loan of Rs 19 crore after Chandrashekhar pretended to be an IAS officer and Paul his secretary, and absconded. They were arrested soon after and, after being released on bail, moved to Mumbai in 2014.