Bengaluru: Man pretends to be NASA scientist, cons 10 women

Bengaluru: Man pretends to be NASA scientist, cons 10 women

Bengaluru: A conman pretending to be a NASA scientist was arrested after as many as 10 women who invested in his company sought action against him and his firm Simply Science at Nagarbhavi.

According to the Police, a 34-year-old man identified as Praveen N, a resident of ITI layout conned women of more than Rs 4 Lakhs pretending to be a NASA scientist and promising them to franchises.

The police said he also took credit for multiple innovations by other scientists, TOI reports.

He had gained popularity in Bengaluru schools over a decade ago after he started delivering lectures in schools and even got investments from outsiders for his firm.

He was successfully arrested from Sullia in Dakshina Kannada.

“The women believed him to be a NASA scientist and fell prey,” said the police officials.

The probe in to the matter revealed there were others too who have invested in his firm.

“We traced him to Sullia and a team rushed there and arrested him. We are bringing him to Bengaluru and more details will be available following probe,” a senior police officer said.

“Praveen had introduced himself as a NASA scientist. He convinced me to invest Rs 4 lakh in his company for a franchise and promised at least Rs 1 lakh profit every month (for eight months a year) if I organized seminars on astronomy,” said BC Leela, one of the complainants.

“…I even managed to arrange a few seminars. But neither did he attend any of them nor did I get my money. So, I demanded he repay Rs 4 lakh. I later learnt there were many women like me whom he had duped,” Leela added.

Another complainant, Mamatha SR, a resident of Hassan, said she too paid Praveen for a franchise but got cheated in the process.

Meanwhile, seven other women approached Annapoorneshwari Nagar police in September 2018 and filed complaints against him.

The complainants also approached BK Singh, additional commissioner of police who assured to take action against the accused and directed Jnanabharathi police to investigate the matter.

Police registered a case on December 13 and arrested Praveen on Friday. He recently married a dentist in Sullia and moved there.

Investigations revealed that accused lured several investors in Tumakuru, Hassan, Chikkamagaluru, Bengaluru, Chennai, and several other places.

“Initially, Praveen agreed to return the money when he was summoned for questioning at Annapoorneshwari Nagar police station. He even gave eight cheques worth Rs 27 lakh, but all of them were dishonoured by the bank,” police said.

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