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Ex-CFO accuses PwC of tax evasion and falsifying accounts in defamation suit: report

The complaint accuses his former employer of cooking books, evading tax, wilfully breaking several laws and then intimidating, cheating and tarnishing his name when he refused to comply
Written by: India TV Business Desk New Delhi July 25, 2017 16:26 IST
India TV Business Desk

A former Chief Financial Officer of the Indian arm of global auditor and consultant Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) has charged the agency of white collar crimes in a defamation suit against his former employer filed in the Chief Judicial Magistrate’s court in Gurugram. The complaint by Mathur, who served as CFO of PricewaterhouseCoopers Private Ltd (PwCPL) between 2008 and 2011, accuses his former employer of cooking books, evading tax, wilfully breaking several laws and then intimidating, cheating and tarnishing his name when he refused to help cover-up, the Economic Times reported.

Detailing his accusations, Mathur alleges that a PwCPL senior official helped adjust Rs 5 crore “outside the system’’. In the same year, the company booked fictitious expenses of Rs 15 crore to evade tax. On another occasion, another top official and two other executives separately backdated invoices worth Rs 93 crore by an accounting year to show the receipts in 2010 instead of the actual 2011, the complaint adds.

PwC has denied the allegations in a statement to the publication. “This is in a long series of defamatory attempts made against PwC by persons who seem to be acting in consort with each other with the sole purpose to harass and bring the name of PwC under disrepute. The case filed by an ex-employee Sarvesh Mathur is also an attempt in that direction to mire PwC and its officials on tenuous grounds in litigations. We plan to apprise the Honourable Court of Judicial Magistrate of the facts,” it read.

Mathur has alleged that he was “initially overruled, intimidated, humiliated, hurt financially etc., for raising his voice against the wrong doings and was gradually sidelined.” He was allegedly then told that the management wanted him to resign but was assigned no reason. Mathur quit in September 2011 and was asked not to attend office during his notice period up to December 31, 2011. However, on February 27 the next year, he received a “termination of service’’ letter which alleged that an internal investigation during the period found he had sent information, documents and data belonging to the company to his personal e-mail IDs, in violation of the terms and conditions of his employment and the company’s code of conduct.

The complaint further alleges that PwCPL filed a police complaint to harass and intimidate Mathur, which was withdrawn after he signed an undertaking that he will not retain, share or divulge any information or data of PwCPL entities. He was also made to delete all the evidence, including emails he had sent to the firm’s global leaders, from his mailboxes, the ET report said. The company assured him that they would supply him with all the documents and data if he ever needed to defend himself, something it went back from in 2013 when Mathur received a notice from income tax authorities in connection with an enquiry for tax evasion against PwCPL.

The case is scheduled for hearing on July 25.