The case against the Bengaluru-based coliving startup Homigo’s founders — for an alleged fraud of INR 30 Cr may now be transferred to the Central Crime Branch, according to the police sources.
The development comes a few days after multiple complaints were filed at Bellandur, Mico Layout, HSR Layout and Jeevan Bhima Naga police stations — against the Homigo’s founders — Nikunj Bhatija, Jatin Mitruka and Aakash Verma.
The founders are on the run which is affecting a large number of tenants residing in more than 100 of its leased properties across Bengaluru.
Currently, the Police three teams have been set up to track the founders. Additional commissioner of police (east) Seemanth Kumar Singh told ET that the decision on transferring the case to the Central Crime Branch will be taken after receiving the reports.
According to tenants Inc42 spoke with — the Homigo team has been non-responsive to tenant complaints regarding water, electricity and other utilities. A lot of tenants are in jeopardy due to fear of losing money (deposited to Homigo) and many have been asked to vacate the apartments immediately due to non-payment of rents or have been asked enter into a new agreement thereby losing the earlier deposits.
Following which numerous tenants have filed complaints against the cofounders and employees of the company. A Facebook page created by the Homigo tenants reveals that the people are now looking to sign a petition and lodge a complaint against the Homigo owners and the team of 35+.
A few employees took social media to request tenants to not file a complaint against them as they had been issued pink slips and were now unemployed, and are helping police with the information they have.
According to Inc42 sources, the company was facing a cash crunch and even employees were not paid salaries. One of the employees Inc42 spoke with said that even he has been defrauded by the management and that he is yet to receive two months salary.
Homigo was founded in 2015 as an online platform to rent designed and furnished places on flexible terms to the young working professionals as well as young students. As of January 2019, the startup claimed to have an inventory of more than 2,000 beds and has catered to over 5000 residents across Bengaluru.
Update 1: March 27, 14:23
We had earlier reported regarding the fraud of being INR 30 crore, however, further investigation into the matter and discussions with the parties involved showed that the amount is closer to INR 20 crore.