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BharatPe Accuses Ashneer Grover, Wife Madhuri Of Embezzling Company Funds For ‘Lavish Lifestyle’

BharatPe Accuses Ashneer Grover, Wife Madhuri Of Embezzling Company Funds For ‘Lavish Lifestyle’

The fintech giant has hit back against the cofounder with allegations of embezzlement, payments to fake vendors

Ashneer Grover had resigned from his post as managing director of BharatPe yesterday (March 01, 2022)

BharatPe also said that Grover is no longer a founder or director in the company

A day after BharatPe cofounder Ashneer Grover resigned from the board and as managing director of the company, the fintech giant has hit back with allegations of embezzlement, payments to fake vendors and syphoning money away from the company’s expense account against Grover and his wife Madhuri Jain Grover, who is the former head of controls at the company.

In its media statement, BharatPe further said that, “The Grover family and their relatives engaged in extensive misappropriation of company funds, including, but not limited to, creating fake vendors through which they siphoned money away from the company’s expense account and grossly abused company expense accounts in order to enrich themselves and fund their lavish lifestyles.

These allegations had surfaced earlier this year too, but were based on unconfirmed leaks during the review process within BharatPe.

Grover No Longer A Founder: BharatPe

The company has reiterated that Grover only resigned after receiving a notice that results of an internal inquiry would be presented to the board on March 1, 2022. The company says, “he quickly shirked responsibility by sending an email to the board submitting his resignation and fabricating another false narrative of the events to the public.”

The review being referred to was being conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) who were tasked with reviewing BharatPe’s internal controls.

BharatPe also claimed that Grover is no longer considered a founder of the company and has been removed from the director position too. “The Board will not allow the deplorable conduct of the Grover family to tarnish BharatPe’s reputation or that of its hard-working employees and world-class technology. As a result of his misdeeds, Mr. Grover is no longer an employee, a founder, or a director of the company.”

Under fire from the board and investors of the company, Grover resigned from the company on March 01, 2022 after months of controversies ranging from boardroom struggles to public mudslinging, which put BharatPe under the spotlight.

Ashneer Grover Vs BharatPe Board

Grover claimed that Jain Grover and him were constantly vilified by the board and investors in the public, and claimed that investors never really showed any interest in how the company was run before this, till it came to the matter of the governance review and the clauses of the shareholder agreement after the controversies erupted. Besides BharatPe’s investors, Grover also lashed out at CEO Suhail Sameer, claiming that he had acted in a duplicitous manner.

Incidentally, Sameer replaced Grover as CEO in August 2021 when the company had raised its unicorn round. Sources had earlier told Inc42 that one of the conditions for Sequoia investing again in BharatPe in that round was that Sameer take over as CEO.

Of course, his resignation does not discount any potential legal action BharatPe may take against him in case their findings of misappropriation are taken to court. In any case, we expect a protracted and long legal battle ahead with both parties aggressively defending their positions.