U.S. judge imposes financial penalties on Byju’s director over missing $533 million

However, Judge Dorsey declined to issue an arrest warrant for Ravindran, who resides in Dubai, UAE—a country without an extradition treaty with the US.

A U.S. judge has imposed financial penalties on Riju Ravindran, brother of Byju’s founder Byju Raveendran, following his failure to disclose the whereabouts of $533 million sought by lenders, as reported by Bloomberg. US Bankruptcy Judge John Dorsey concluded Ravindran’s testimony was “not truthful,” stating Ravindran either knows where the money is hidden and refuses to disclose it or has declined to find out.

Ravindran, along with his brother and sister-in-law, serves as a director of the Indian ed-tech company Think & Learn Pvt Ltd, which is currently embroiled in a dispute with lenders over a debt exceeding $1.2 billion. The specific financial penalties will be determined in a future hearing, Judge Dorsey announced.

During the hearing, Judge Dorsey attempted to ascertain the location of the funds but was unable to get Ravindran to reveal any information. Previously, Dorsey had ordered the arrest of a hedge fund manager who had assisted Ravindran in moving the money, following the manager’s refusal to comply with a court order to disclose the funds’ whereabouts.

However, Judge Dorsey declined to issue an arrest warrant for Ravindran, who resides in Dubai, UAE—a country without an extradition treaty with the U.S. The latest developments follow lenders seizing control of Byju’s Alpha, a holding company established by Think & Learn to issue the $1.2 billion debt. Byju’s Alpha is now in bankruptcy under Dorsey’s oversight. Ravindran is appealing a Delaware Chancery Court decision that approved the seizure.

Last month, Think & Learn, the parent company of Byju’s, announced a major reorganization. Founder and Group CEO Byju Raveendran took a more direct role in daily operations, while former CEO Arjun Mohan transitioned to an external advisory role, bringing his edtech expertise to support the company during this period of transformation.

Byju’s is facing urgent financial challenges, including significant losses, numerous legal suits, and substantial investor backlash. The company’s valuation has plummeted below $1 billion (Rs 8,300 crore), and some investors are advocating for the removal of Raveendran and his family members from the company.