BharatPe to 'claw back' Ashneer's restricted shares, blocks vendors
Leading fintech platform BharatPe on Tuesday said it has initiated necessary action against the company's former founder Ashneer Grover to "claw back his restricted shares as per the shareholders' agreement" and will take all steps to enforce its right under the law.
As part of its corporate governance review of the company after the financial irregularities were unearthed during Ashneer and his wife Madhuri Jain Grover's time, the company found many vendors were involved in malpractices, such as incorrect or inflated invoices, who have been blocked for further business with the company.
"These vendors were also identified during the GST Enquiry. The company has already issued legal notices to these vendors to recover the amount and will be filing civil/criminal cases against them in the coming days," said BharatPe.
The company has terminated the services of several employees in departments who were directly involved with these blocked vendors.
"If required, the company will be filing criminal cases against some of these employees for the misconduct and act of cheating committed by them against the company," it added,
In January, the board of BharatPe appointed Alvarez & Marsal (A&M), a global professional services firm and Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co. (SAM) to help the board and management with its governance review and PwC to determine wilful misconduct and gross negligence by a former founder.
BharatPe said that a new code of conduct will be applicable to senior management and employees and has now been implemented.
"A new and comprehensive Vendor Procurement Policy has also been developed to ensure that a robust mechanism is in place for on-boarding and engaging with vendors and mitigate any risk of employees indulging in suspicious transactions to enrich themselves," said the company.
A full-time CHRO and an interim CFO have joined the company, said the company, and it is in the process of finalising the candidate for the role of CFO.
Mazars India, a global audit firm, has been appointed by the company as an internal auditor.
Grover, along with his wife Madhuri Jain Grover, has been stripped of all company titles over alleged "extensive misappropriation of company funds" and using "company expense accounts" to "enrich themselves and fund their lavish lifestyles".
Ashneer Grover, co-founder and former Managing Director of fintech platform BharatPe, recently said that he is planning to start his own venture without seeking funds from the investors.
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