Ricoh India Employee Says She was Threatened into Naming Ricoh India Managment Involved in Accounting Irregularities

India

In a curious twist in the wake of an accounting scandal at Ricoh India, BloombergQuint reports that a former Ricoh India employee, Smriti Pandey, is now stating that she was harassed into naming others as responsible for the accounting irregularities at Ricoh India that began earlier this year. Pandey, has filed a complaint against nine Ricoh India officials, saying she was harassed and threatened into naming others as responsible for the accounting irregularities and profit over-statements at Ricoh India.

The accounting irregularities at Ricoh India have since resulted in the dismissal of top officers at Ricoh India. In July 2016, parent-company Ricoh Company of Tokyo, Japan, reported that Ricoh India’s estimated un-audited loss was 11.2 billion Indian rupees (17.1 billion yen) for its fiscal year that ended on March 31, 2016. Ricoh Company has also filed a petition with the India National Company Law Tribunal in order to recapitalize the loss. Ricoh Company and NRG Group will contribute some 398 million India rupees to Ricoh India’s recapitalization.

Ricoh India’s troubles began last spring when it failed to file its financial results for two fiscal quarters with the Bombay Stock Exchange. Ricoh India said on March 29th that Manoj Kumar (former managing director and CEO), Arvind Singhal (chief financial officer), and Anil Saini (senior vice president and chief operating officer), were placed on mandatory leave with pay by Ricoh India’s board. Manoj Kumar subsequently resigned from the board and left the position of managing director. Shares of Ricoh India were suspended from trading on India’s Bombay Stock Exchange.

Pandey was previously working as a senior executive at Ricoh India, and is said to have stepped down in May 2016. In May 2016, Pandey filed a complaint with police in New Delhi, alleging mental harassment, unlawful threatening, and financial loss caused by nine Ricoh officials. In the complaint, Pandey alleges that nine Ricoh India officials harrassed or intimidated her, including Ricoh India CEO A. T. Rajan.

Pandey claims that she was forced to falsely implicate senior management officials in the accounting fraud at Ricoh India. Arguments to register the case will start in September.

BloombergQuint is yet to reach the individuals named in the complaint and Smriti Pandey refused to comment when BloombergQuint reached her on the phone. A Ricoh India spokesperson said, in an email response to queries regarding Pandey’s complaint: “The investigations are ongoing and, once concluded, will be shared with the relevant authorities who will decide appropriate action. We are cooperating with the authorities and will continue to work with them during their investigations. As a policy, we will not comment on any individual until the completion of the investigations.”

Pandey Also Named in Complaint Filed by Ricoh India

According to BloombergQuint, Pandey has also been named in a complaint filed by Ricoh India and in the national company law tribunal (NCLT) petition filed by Ricoh Company. This complaint is also said to name Ricoh India former Chief Financial Officer Arvind Singhal, former Chief Operating Officer Anil Saini,  and Senior Executive-Operations Smriti Pandey. Pandey is also said to be named in a court petition filed by Ricoh Company.

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