Axis Mutual Fund probe: Income tax officials raid ex-fund manager Viresh Joshi

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Axis Mutual Fund probe: Income tax officials raid ex-fund manager Viresh Joshi

Photo : BCCL

The Income Tax (I-T) Department conducted raids on premises linked to Viresh Joshi, the former chief trader and fund manager of Axis Mutual Fund on allegations of tax evasion.

Raids were also conducted on places linked to many middle men and brokers, business daily ET reported, citing sources.

Viresh Joshi was removed as fund manager in May by the asset management company after allegations of front-running and broker payments surfaced.

The raids which commenced on Saturday included questioning of Joshi and the brokers in the said case, sources said. They added that the IT action is based on the information shared by SEBI.

Front-running is trading stock or any other financial asset by a broker who has inside knowledge of a future transaction that is about to affect its price substantially.

“SEBI has found certain transactions that point towards Joshi being involved in front running and thereby accumulating assets disproportionate to his income. There are allegations of tax evasion and siphoning of funds abroad and therefore searches have been commenced,” sources told the daily.

Joshi was not immediately available for comment. In June he had sued the fund house seeking Rs 54 crore in damages from the fund house to him for alleged wrongful termination and lack of due process in law.

Joshi had recently filed a lawsuit alleging wrongful termination and has sought Rs 542.6 million.

Axis Mutual Fund joined the industry with its first investment plan in 2009, and had 2.5 trillion rupees of assets under management at the end of June this year. Among the early members of its team was Viresh Joshi.

Over the coming years, Joshi strengthened his position and progressed in the company and became the chief dealer, overseeing its trading operations in 2019.

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