ED sleuths raid Andhra Pradesh hospitals over alleged multi-crore financial fraud

The police in June unearthed what they believed was a multi-crore scam involving the management of the NRI General Hospital in Mangalagiri.

BySNV Sudhir

Published Dec 02, 2022 | 11:57 PM Updated Dec 02, 2022 | 11:58 PM

Financial fraud (Creative Commons)

Multiple teams of the Enforcement Directorate  (ED) have been conducting searches at the NRI General Hospital in Mangalagiri and Akkineni Women’s Hospital in Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh since the morning of Friday, 2 December.

Sources in the police said the searches were expected to continue into Saturday.

The raids are being conducted over the alleged siphoning of funds during the Covid-19 pandemic and also other acts of financial fraud.

In June this year police unearthed what they believed was a multi-crore scam involving the management of the NRI hospital in Mangalagiri.

The police have charged 11 people, including NRI Academy of Sciences vice-president Dr Nimmagadda Upendranadh and Treasurer Akkineni Mani, with siphoning several crores from the academy by fabricating records and accounts and taking advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to a charge sheet filed by Mangalagiri DSP N Srinivas in the court of an Additional Junior Civil Judge, the investigation revealed that the hospital’s directors, Nimmagadda Upendranath and Dr Mani Akkineni, as well as the hospital’s Chief Coordinating Officer Uppala Srinivasa Rao and Chief Financial Officer Nalini Mohan, were involved in the fraud.

An internal investigation also revealed that the scam had spread to Covid-19 patients’ payments.

Details of the case

According to the charge sheet, Gadddipati Srinivasa Rao, an office assistant at the NRI Academy, filed a complaint with the police on 19 June, 2021, alleging that the accused misappropriated funds totalling several crores over a period of several years.

According to the complaint, the accused opened a fictitious account called “buildings” and transferred approximately ₹4,30,72,966 between 5 April, 2017, and 15 May, 2018. However, no construction was carried out on the academy’s grounds in Chinakakani.

He also claimed that the accused collected large sums from students for management-quota seats for the 2018-19 academic session, and diverted ₹3,07,41,448 into the fictitious MBBS Fee account.

Srinvias Rao also complained that the NRI General Hospital was allowed to treat Covid-19 patients, and the accused collected large sums for treatment fees from the patients’ relatives and issued manual receipts for less than the actual amount.

He also stated that Nimmagadda Upendranadh, Akkineni Mani, Uppala Srinivasa Rao, and Vallupallki Nalini Mohan transferred the misappropriated funds to the fake accounts with the help of employees.

The investigation

During the verification of data of 30 patients out of 1,200 patients with the billing department, the police discovered that the accused misappropriated ₹73,44,600.

They also discovered that during the Covid-19 pandemic, manual receipts were issued for amounts received from patients’ relatives, per the instructions of Nalini Mohan and Srinivasa Rao.

“One of the accused in the case, Akkineni Mani, recently started a women’s hospital in Vijayawada while continuing at the NRI General Hospital. That could be why the ED teams searched both hospitals,” a highly placed source at NRI General Hospital told South First.

“Several incriminating records and documents are said to have been already seized by the ED teams. Since fund diversion to the tune of a few crores was involved, the ED might have entered the scene,” added the source.