The Indian police registered a case Tuesday against top Citigroup Inc. executives, including Chief Executive Vikram Pandit, in connection with an alleged $70 million fraud at a Citibank branch in a New Delhi suburb.
The move came after a complaint by bank customer Sanjeev Agarwal, who was allegedly duped in an investment fraud orchestrated by an employee at the Gurgaon branch of the U.S. banking company.
"We have registered a case of fraud on the basis of the complaint received from Agarwal," Dalbir Singh, assistant commissioner of police in Gurgaon, a satellite city of New Delhi, told Dow Jones Newswires.
Apart from CEO Pandit, Agarwal's complaint named Citi's senior adviser, William Rhodes; Chief Operating Officer Douglas Peterson; Chief Financial Officer John Gerspach and three others, including Shivraj Puri, the man accused in the investment fraud.
A Citigroup statement said: Agarwal's "claims against senior executives are completely without basis, and we intend to contest them vigorously."
It said Citi identified the fraud and immediately reported it to regulators and law enforcement agencies.
Under Indian law, the police must register a first information report on the basis of any complaint received that prima facie involves a crime. The report initiates an investigation into the alleged crime.
Puri was suspended by the bank, and police have arrested him.
Agarwal is one of several investors who put in money in the alleged scheme.