Fugitive financier from India, Dinesh Dalmia, involved in a major fraud at New Jersey computer company, All-serve systems Corp.
N.J. FIRM'S BAD PAPER
By CHRISTOPHER BYRON
Swindlers used scissors and glue to forge documents that made them millions while wiping out jobs on three continents in the collapse of New Jersey computer company All- serve Systems Corp., The Post has learned.
The North Brunswick firm went belly up in mid-November, owing $83 million to equipment-leasing companies from San Francisco to Boston, but leaving just $36 million in collateral to be divvied up among creditors.
Documents obtained by The Post show that poorly forged invoices and a fake financial statement could account for much of the missing money.
The documents surfaced separately from a hearing in federal court in Newark last week where lawyers and a federal bankruptcy trustee have been struggling in vain to track down more than $47 million in cash and computer gear.
Last week's hearing was the first to attract the attention of federal law enforcement. Two FBI special agents sat silently in the audience taking notes.
In London, where another part of the Allserve network has also collapsed, the U.K.'s Serious Frauds Office has opened a probe as well. A source in the case says the office manager has departed abruptly for India, leaving the office records in disarray.
At its zenith two years ago, the Allserve network boasted of operations in New Jersey, Texas and four other states, with overseas facilities in Singapore, India and the U.K., and a global workforce of more than 3,000. In 2004 the company claimed revenues of $97 million and claimed plans to double its worldwide payroll to 6,000 by the start of this year.
Little remains of those plans now except a skeleton crew of barely a dozen Allserve workers in New Jersey, and a lot of furious creditors who say they were duped.
Many of them are pointing the finger straight at a fugitive financier from India named Dinesh Dalmia, who has been living in Fort Lee, N.J., where he has been fighting unsuccessfully to make Interpol remove his name and photo from its Web site.
The Indian Police's Central Bureau of Investigation has posted an Interpol red notice for Dalmia on its Web site. He is wanted by police in Calcutta for forgery, fraud and money laundering in connection with his involvement in a Calcutta Stock Exchange swindle five years ago.
Long linked to the All- serve network in the Indian press, Dalmia nonetheless insists he has nothing to do with the group. And All- serve's own officials have said the same. Last summer, Dalmia's Washington-based lawyer, E. Lawrence Barcella, demanded a retraction from The Post for reporting otherwise.
Yet the forged U.S. documents now underscore Dalmia's seeming influence over the network more starkly than ever. They show how a forged financial statement helped trick commercial finance money men into lending millions to the network, with more than $2 million of the money apparently flowing into a 2-year-old company headed by Dalmia himself.
One set of documents purports to be invoices to Allserve creditors from a company called IGTL Solutions (USA). The invoices, totaling $2.5 million, list computer gear for supposed delivery to Allserve's North Brunswick offices.
But New Jersey state records list IGTL as operating from the same Allserve address, and the records name Dalmia as IGTL's president. Investigators for the creditors say the lenders apparently paid the invoices anyway, even though they appear to have been dummied up with tape and household glue.
Altogether, checks totaling more than $11 million were issued by Allserve to IGTL in the three months prior to the bankruptcy, court records show.
A separate document, purports to be an audited financial statement for an obscure Allserve affiliate called B2B Solutions Inc.
The company's audited financials, on file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, show B2B Solutions Inc. to have had declining revenues of barely $17 million in 2003, along with less than $2.5 million in assets and virtually no book value.
But the bogus financials instead show B2B Solutions Inc. to have been brimming in 2003 with twice as much in revenues, six times more in assets, 10 times more in profits, and 20 times as much in book value.
The fraud-drenched financials were festooned with signs that should have raised red flags for any lender. One example: The report offered no address — or even a phone number — for B2B Solutions Inc.
Yet investigators say lenders including IBM Credit Corp. and CIT Equipment Leasing went ahead and extended more than $20 million in lease financing to the Allserve affiliate anyway. Some of those loans have now turned up in the Allserve bankruptcy.
B2B Solutions Inc., which now goes by the name Vanguard Info-Solutions Corp., is not part of the Allserve bankruptcy proceeding. But the two entities are so closely intertwined that even investigators for All- serve's creditors say they've had trouble telling them apart.
Over the last two years, all three companies have shared each other's New Jersey office space and phone numbers. And top officials for each have routinely signed documents as officers for other firms in the group.