New Delhi: The CBI has taken over the probe into the Rs 500 crore cash-for-click scam, allegedly run by Ghaziabad-based Webwork Trade Links, which duped lakhs of investors.
Actors Shah Rukh Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui, who endorsed its portal Addsbook.com, are also named in the complaint, but neither the CBI nor the Uttar Pradesh Police, which was probing the case earlier, named them as accused in the FIR.
The CBI sources said a clarification could be sought from the actors.
Emails sent to offices of the actors seeking their comments were not responded to.
Promoters of Webwork Trade Links, Anurag Jain and Sandesh Verma, duped people using the two actors as brand ambassadors of his shadow firm addsbook.com, alleged the complaint filed by Amit Jain, one of those duped.
According to the complaint, which is now part of the FIR, the company opened a shadow company Addsbook Marketing Pvt Ltd with the brand ambassadors Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Shah Rukh Khan and started ads on a noted TV news channel.
“People have invested heavily as they were influenced by both celebrities,” it alleged.
Jain and Verma allegedly took money from people by luring them with lucrative payments for every click on advertisements on their website, the complaint said.
According to the Uttar Pradesh Police, which was probing the matter, Garg and Sudesh offered membership to more than four lakh people in four months for the click-and-earn plan.
The complainant alleged that the company collected Rs 1.72 lakh from him to join the scheme where people were supposed to get paid for clicks for advertisements for one year.
But after some time, the websites stopped functioning and the company also refused to respond to their calls.
When the complainant visited the office of the company, he was allegedly threatened.
It is also alleged that the company started forcing people to start bitcoin accounts. Bitcoin is a kind of virtual currency.
It is alleged that they collected over Rs 500 crore from around two lakh people, the police had said.
The CBI, on directives of the Allahabad High Court, has taken over investigation in the matter and re-registered the FIR against Jain and Verma for alleged cheating and violation of the Information Technology Act.
Whenever the CBI takes over the investigation from a state police, it re-registers the same FIR which was filed by the state police. The final report in the case may be completely different.