The Serious Fraud Office has announced it is investigating fraud, fraudulent trading and money laundering at the Gupta Family Group and its financing arrangements with Greensill Capital.
The fraud office announced the probe into the group, headed by Sanjeev Gupta, in a 14 May statement.
“The SFO is investigating suspected fraud, fraudulent trading and money laundering in relation to the financing and conduct of the business of companies within the Gupta Family Group Alliance (GFG), including its financing arrangements with Greensill Capital UK,” the SFO said in its statement.
The SFO said as it was a live investigation it could provide no further comment.
A GFG Alliance spokesperson said: “GFG Alliance notes the UK Serious Fraud Office’s announcement that it has opened an investigation into GFG Alliance. GFG Alliance will co-operate fully with the investigation. As these matters are the subject of an SFO investigation we cannot make any further comment.
“GFG Alliance continues to serve its customers around the world and is making progress in the refinancing of its operations which are benefitting from the operational improvements it has made and the very strong steel, aluminium and iron ore markets.”
The launch of a criminal investigation into GFG opens a new chapter in the deepening scandal surrounding Gupta and Greensill.
READ ‘Are you a fraudster, Mr Greensill?’
Supply chain financier Greensill collapsed in March after Credit Suisse suspended four funds valued at $10bn that were key to its liquidity after concerns it had become over-exposed to Gupta and his companies.
Greensill was founded by Australian former banker Lex Greensill who was an adviser to David Cameron during his time as prime minister.
Cameron has also been caught up in the scandal after the extensive efforts he put into lobbying ministers and civil servants to give Grensill access to government support schemes were revealed.
The former Prime Minister was this week grilled by MPs on his lobbying attempts.
READ ‘Lobbying is a healthy part of democracy’, Cameron tells MPs in Greensill inquiry
“I completely accept that former prime ministers are in a different position to others because of the office that we held, and the influence that continues to bring,” Cameron told the Treasury Select Committee during a virtual evidence session on 13 May. “We need to think differently and act differently.”
The collapse of Greensill has also piled pressure on Gupta and his far flung steel empire which counted the supply chain financer as a key source of funds.
GFG owns Liberty Steel in the UK after its purchase of Tata’s Speciality Steels business in 2017.
To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email James Booth