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India court convicts former Satyam chief in major fraud case

An Indian court has convicted the founder of one of the country's biggest IT companies as well as nine others of fraud. This comes six years after Ramalinga Raju confessed to investors that he had cooked the books.

A court in Hyderabad, the capital of India's southern Andhra Pradesh state found Byrraju Ramalinga Raju and nine others, including one of his brothers guilty of manipulating the books of Satyam Computer Services Ltd during India's information technology boom in 2009.

"All the accused have been convicted of almost all charges," prosecutor K. Surender told reporters outside the court in Hyderabad.

The court had charged Raju with criminal conspiracy, cheating, and breach of public trust in connection with the case, which prosecutors said had caused 140 billion rupees (2.09 billion euros, $2.25 billion) in losses to the company's shareholders.

Costly confession

Satyam Computer Services, which was once India's fourth-largest software company was plunged into turmoil after Raju admitted in a letter to shareholders in early 2009 that he had fraudulently hugely inflated the company's profits on paper for years.

Several weeks later, Tech Mahindra, a unity of vehicle and farm equipment maker Mahindra, bought a majority stake in Satyam, saving it from almost certain collapse.

Raju and his associates were arrested in 2009, but were subsequently released on bail as the awaited trial.

pfd/jil (AP, dpa, AFP)