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Economy

How Satyam became 'India's Enron'

Cooking the books at the IT company was 'like riding a tiger'

MUMBAI On the morning of Jan. 7, 2009, Ramalinga Raju sent a letter to India's stock exchanges and securities regulator announcing his resignation as chairman of Satyam Computer Services, the country's fourth-largest software exporter at the time. That announcement alone would have been cause for surprise, but Raju went on to make a shocking admission: He had been overstating his company's revenues for years.

"It was like riding a tiger, not knowing how to get off without being eaten," he said of the yawning gap between Satyam's actual profits and those on the books. He added that every attempt to close that gap had failed, including a last-ditch effort that involved acquiring Maytas Infra and Maytas Properties, two companies owned by relatives.

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