The accused were identified as Sembaiya Viswanathan (51), wife Dharshini (47), daughter Akshaya Ashwanti (21) of Korattur and T Rajasekaran (42) of Vanagaram. They are said to be natives of Sri Lanka, but have been staying in the city for about 15 years, said police.
The victim Sunil Kumar Handa (52) of Nungambakkam was introduced to the family by Rajasekaran in 2018 as the former wanted to get admission for his son in Harvard University to pursue computer science engineering. The couple told Sunil Kumar that their daughter Akshaya Ashwanti is pursuing journalism in Harvard and that she can help get a seat in the institution. Believing them, Sunil Kumar Handa handed over Rs 52.48 lakh to them and in return received receipts.
However, Sunil Kumar later found out that the receipts were forged and lodged a complaint at the Central Crime Branch (CCB). After investigation, the Endowment Document Fraud prevention wing registered a case and arrested all four of them. They were remanded in judicial custody.
Police said the family spent all the money to lead a luxurious life. The family has been living in Orchid Alliance Springs Apartments, a posh gated community in Korattur, paying a rent of Rs 40,000 per month.
Police sources said they suspect the girl, Akshaya Ashwanti, to have played the prime role in the entire episode. She allegedly told investigating officers that she pursues journalism case online. She also created the fake receipts as if she paid admission and tuition fee for the Harvard aspirant on a website. The accused family member, Rajasekaran, is said to be girl’s uncle.