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Byju's Crisis Deepens: US Court Questions Director Over Missing $553 Million

Byju's faces fresh trouble as a US judge questions Director Riju Ravindran's truthfulness regarding the whereabouts of $553 million linked to the company's loan dispute.

Byju's Crisis Deepens: US Court Questions Director Over Missing $553 Million

Byju's, the Indian education technology company, is facing a deepening crisis. A US judge has cast serious doubt on the truthfulness of Byju's Director Riju Ravindran regarding the whereabouts of $553 million, central to an ongoing loan dispute with lenders.

                            

The Missing Millions and The Court's Fury

The controversy stems from Byju's lenders claiming over $1.2 billion in debt. A key part of this dispute centers on $553 million that appears to be missing. During a recent Delaware court hearing, US Bankruptcy Judge John Dorsey sharply criticized Ravindran's lack of cooperation in locating the funds.

 

According to a Bloomberg report, Judge Dorsey bluntly stated, "I conclude Mr. Ravindran's testimony is not truthful." Dorsey believes Ravindran either knows where the money is and is refusing to disclose its location, or that he made no genuine effort to find it.

 

The court has scheduled a further hearing to determine potential fines for Ravindran and to assess whether he has any assets within the court's jurisdiction that could be seized.

 

Byju's Refusal to Cooperate Frustrates the Judge

This is not the first time the court has expressed frustration with Byju's lack of cooperation. Previously, a judge ordered the arrest of a hedge fund manager who allegedly assisted Byju's in moving the missing money. This manager also refused to disclose the funds' whereabouts.

However, unlike the hedge fund manager, Ravindran, an Indian citizen living in Dubai, cannot be arrested due to the lack of an extradition treaty between the US and UAE.

 

Byju's Defense and The Family Dynamic Angle

Ravindran's attorney attempted to defend his client, claiming Ravindran made every effort to locate the money. The defense also presented a curious explanation - Byju's founders, Byju Raveendran (Riju's brother) and his wife Divya Gokulnath, claim they have no knowledge of the missing funds. The attorney offered a vague explanation, stating, "Everybody has their own family dynamic."

 

The Missing Money: A Linchpin in the Loan Dispute

The $553 million is a critical piece of the ongoing legal battle between Byju's lenders and the company. The lenders believe they are owed over $1.2 billion, and locating the missing funds is crucial for resolving the debt issue. Previously, the lenders were able to seize control of a Byju's holding company, which is now under the jurisdiction of Judge Dorsey's bankruptcy court.

 

Byju's Crisis Snowballs: What's Next?

The missing money controversy adds another layer of complexity to Byju's already troubled financial situation. The company has been grappling with cash flow problems, legal issues, and a recent leadership shakeup.

 

The outcome of the US court case and the eventual location of the missing funds remain to be seen. However, one thing is clear: Byju's faces a critical juncture, and its ability to navigate this crisis will significantly impact its future.


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