ED attaches assets in Kerala fake degrees on PMLA case

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New Delhi, Mar 26 (PTI) Assets worth Rs 1.6 crore of a Kerala-based education group chairman and his family have been attached in a money laundering case linked to alleged distribution of fake degrees, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said on Friday.

A provisional order, under various sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), has been issued against James George, the Chairman of Modern Group of institutions located in Kollam district, his wife Seema James and Bharathiya Orthodox Church Religious and Charitable Trust, the central investigative agency said in a statement.

These eight immovable assets are located in Kollam, Alappuzha, Thrissur, Kannur and Wayanad districts of Kerala. The ED claimed its probe found that George was 'engaged in forging certificates of various state universities.

'He distributed such fake certificates to students and job seekers in lieu of cash payment and thus cheated them during 2012-2015,' the agency alleged.

The education group promoter also 'indulged in selling various fake diploma certificates of his Modern Group Institutes to job seekers and students against cash payment without conducting any course at his institutes during the said period. 'The proceeds of this crime were invested in purchase of immovable properties...,' it said.

The PMLA case against George and his family is based on a Kerala Police FIR and a charge sheet filed against him in the past. PTI NES KJ