Disgraced English language tutor Sakvithi Ranasinghe and his wife, who were accused of operating an unauthorized financial institution and misusing its deposits worth over Rs. 164 million obtained from the public, have pleaded guilty to the financial fraud charges.
The revised charge sheet submitted by the Attorney General was read out when the couple was produced before Colombo High Court Judge Aditya Patabendi this morning (July 19).
Accordingly, the accused pleaded guilty to the revised fraud charges levelled against them.
The duo also agreed to pay off the sum of Rs. 164,185,000, which they had misused by swindling the depositors, in 20 monthly instalments of Rs. 5 million each.
The defence attorneys told the high court judge that the first instalment would be settled today.
The Attorney General had submitted a revised charge sheet against Sakvithi Ranasinghe and his wife who had misappropriated an amount to the tune of Rs. 164,185,000 by misusing the funds of the depositors of his illegal financial company S.R. Property Sharing Investment (Pvt) Ltd between January 01, 2006 and September 03, 2008.
Ranasinghe started off as an English language tutor, and after gaining popularity he set up a financial institution that offered higher interest rates for depositors to invest their money. He is also said to have been involved in real estate business through his other company Sakvithi Constructions, which he used to buy and sell properties using forged deeds.
The scam was busted by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka in September 2008 after looking into a multitude of complaints filed by the victims.
Ranasinghe then fled to Chennai, India shortly after his scam came under the spotlight. However, upon his return to the island, the Mirihana Police arrested the scammer and his wife in August 2010.
In 2022, the Colombo High Court handed Ranasinghe a 22-year rigorous imprisonment suspended for five years after the accused pleaded guilty to 11 charges laid against him. The accused was fined Rs. 25,000 for each charge. Meanwhile, his wife, who pleaded guilty to one of the charges levelled in this case, was given a two-year prison sentence suspended for five years. She was fined Rs. 25,000.