In Hydrabad, India this week, B. Ramalinga Raju, former chairman and CEO of Satyam Computer Services, was found guilty and sentenced to seven years in prison for his role in a $1 billion accounting fraud that was revealed in 2009.
In January 2009, Raju admitted in a letter to Sayam's board of directors that he had engaged in the fraud, which he said began as one-time effort to hide a bad quarter but then spiraled out of control. Although Raju later "retracted" his 2009 confession, the court found him guilty yesterday of fraud and other charges in the case known as "India's Enron."
The WSJ reports that in addition to Raju, nine other individuals -- including two auditors from PricewaterhouseCooper’s Indian arm, were also found guilty of charges including "cheating, misappropriation of funds and falsification of accounts." The auditing firm (Price Waterhouse, Bangalore) issued a statement that
We are disappointed with this verdict given by the court of Hon’ble Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate at Hyderabad. As we have said many times, there has never been any evidence presented that either of our former partners S Gopalakrishnan or Srinivas Talluri were involved in or were aware of the management-led fraud at Satyam. We understand that Gopal and Talluri are considering filing an appeal against this verdict.
Raju and all of the other defendants had been free on bail during the trial, which reportedly lasted 50 months.