The founder of Satyam Computer Services, a software outsourcing company, and nine others were sentenced to seven years in prison Thursday in one of the biggest corporate fraud cases in the history of India. The case involved the forgery of $1 billion, cost investors more than $2 billion and has been labeled the "Enron of India."
Satyam Founder and former Chairman Ramalinga Raju, his brother and several other company executives were found guilty of criminal conspiracy to commit fraud. Raju and his brother were also fined 50 million rupees, the equivalent of about $800,000.
The fraud lasted at least eight years and involved thousands of forged documents, according to the Indian Central Bureau of Investigation, the New York Times reported.
The case dates back to 2009, when Raju resigned as chairman and wrote a letter to employees where he admitted that $1 billion on the company's books did not actually exist. The case played out from there, culminating in Thursday's sentencing. Raju's lawyer, Uma Maheshwar Rao, said they will challenge the verdict in a higher court, Reuters said.
Satyam become one of India's top software companies in the late 1990s as more and more companies began outsourcing their work to India.