Justice finally caught up 38-year-old Raghu Aryasomayajula, a native of the South Indian state of Andhra, as the Auckland District Court sentenced him to four and half years in prison following his conviction in mortgage frauds valued at $13.5 million.
Some legal experts said Raghu may have been awarded a lesser sentence had he entered an early guilty plea. His business partner Philip Julian Cavanagh pleaded guilty in October 2009 and was awarded a prison term of two years and five months. He agreed to give evidence against Raghu, which brought him further relief of reduced jail term.
Throughout the case, which began almost four years ago, Raghu had maintained his innocence, saying that ‘he had been wronged.’
Arriving in New Zealand in 2001 as a permanent resident, Raghu began his career at ANZ Bank and other commercial establishments. Two years later, he joined Barfoot & Thompson as a real estate agent. IN 2006, he established ‘Allwin Holdings Limited,’ in partnership with Philip, also employed in the same company. Raghu had floated a few other companies on his own as well.
Everything went well for a while but as it happens with fraudsters, ‘somewhere someone found something wrong’, and began to dig. He was accused of concealing information, falsifying documents, inflating wages, not disclosing existing debts and filling out mortgage applications in the name of colleagues and friends to obtain bank loans. All his companies went into receivership and he was declared bankrupt in March 2009. Since then he was on state benefit.