Agri Gold Farm Estates Pvt. Ltd. raised funds through a collective investment scheme (CIS)from lakhs of investors. The company was operating in Andhra Pradesh without regulatory approvals. Agri Gold’s scam was busted in 2015, upon which the state government seized all companies’ assets.
In 2021, the state government of Andhra Pradesh, under Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy announced the Agri Gold Victim Scheme. Under the scheme, the investors who have not received their money invested in Agri Gold were assured to get a refund from the government. The scheme was only for individuals who had invested Rs. 10,000 to Rs.20,000 in Agri Gold. The refund process began on August 6th, 2021, and the victims were supposed to get the refund money by August 24th, 2021. The government asked eligible candidates to apply for a refund online or via gram sachivalayam.
Agri Gold victims were required to furnish necessary documents (receipts and proof of nvestment) and utilize the online application method to get their refund. The Andhra Pradesh government had assigned Rs. 500 Crore to cater to more than 4 lakhs of Agri Gold victims. With the help of this scheme, over seven lakh victims got their refunds directly sent
to their bank accounts. Agri Gold victims (with investments up to Rs. 20,000) can check the status of their refund online at www.agrigolddata.in.
In December 2021, Pavan Kumar Chaitanya Punna, Praveen Kumar Punna, and Punna Bhunath filed individual petitions before the district consumer disputes redressal commission claiming that they have invested Rs. 15,000, Rs. 15,000, and Rs. 50,000 espectively in Agri Gold Farm Estates Pvt. Ltd. As per the scheme benefit, the investors were promised that they would get double the amount of their investment within two years. However, the company failed to deliver on its promises.
After investigating the matter, the commission directed the management of Agri Gold Farm Estates to refund Rs. 3, 74, 500 to three customers for not repaying the deposited amount. In addition to the repayment amount, the commissioner asked the company and its directors to pay compensation and litigation expenses to the investors, but none responded.
Many investors who have deposited Rs. 20,000 and above in Agri Gold requested the government to settle their claims as well. Many victims protested in Vijayawada on September 6, 2022, asking the state government to release Rs. 3,060 crores to facilitate refunds to the Agri Gold depositors. The government has so far released Rs. 905 crores to refund about 14 lakh investors. Still, more than 6.50 lakh victims are waiting for their refund.