India court convicts ex-Satyam chief in $3 billion fraud case

India court convicts ex-Satyam chief in $3 billion fraud case
B. Ramalinga Raju (C), the former chairman of outsourcing giant Satyam, walks out of the Metropolitan Criminal Courts in Hyderabad on March 9, 2015.

HYDERABAD - An Indian court on Thursday convicted the former chief of outsourcing giant Satyam and his aides over a US$2.25 billion (S$3 billion) accounting fraud in a scandal dubbed "India's Enron", the prosecutor said.

Byrraju Ramalinga Raju, his brother and eight others were found guilty of manipulating Satyam's books during the IT boom in India in 2009 in a case that shook the industry.

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

Raju faces a life sentence after being charged with criminal conspiracy and breaching public trust in a scam that prosecutors said caused 140 billion rupees (US$2.25 billion) in losses to investors.

The Satyam scandal erupted in 2009 after Raju admitted to overstating profits for years and inflating the company's balance sheet.

Raju, who was educated in India and the United States, was one of the stars of India's software boom - a key driver of the country's economic growth over the previous decade.

In a confessional letter to shareholders in 2009, Raju said: "The concern was that poor performance would result in a takeover."

"It was like riding a tiger, not knowing how to get off without being eaten."

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