Two Price Waterhouse partners arrested for Satyam fraud (Lead)

January 24th, 2009 - 11:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Jan 24 (IANS) Two partners of Price Waterhouse, the firm that audited fraud-hit Satyam Computer Services’ books, have been arrested, police said Saturday.The Crime Investigation Department (CID) of the Andhra Pradesh police, probing the Rs.70 billion (Rs.7,000 crore/$1.43 billion) fraud in the IT bellwether, arrested chief relationship partner S. Gopalakrishnan and engagement leader Srinivas Taluri Friday night.

Price Waterhouse is the Indian arm of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the global auditing firm.

CID announced the arrests Saturday evening. “We have arrested the two partners of the Price Waterhouse last night,” a top CID official told IANS here.

They have been charged under section 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and were being produced before the magistrate at his house, he said.

“This is a case of criminal conspiracy and falsification of accounts. As per the evidence available they are found to be responsible for preparation of misleading accounts and furthering the conspiracy,” said the official, who did not want to be named.

These were the first arrests of auditors since Satyam founder B. Ramalinga Raju quit as chairman Jan 7 while admitting the fraud.

The CID had on Jan 13 conducted searched at the Hyderabad office of Price Waterhouse and seized several documents and records relating to Satyam accounts.

Ramalinga Raju, his brother and former managing director of Satyam B. Rama Raju and former chief financial officer Vadlamani Srinivas have been arrested and lodged in Chanchalguda central jail here.

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