Sandalwood film producer and director, Anand Appugol, who is also the chairman of the Sangolli Rayanna Credit Cooperative Society, was arrested by the Mumbai police on Monday.
In August, thousands of customers of the co-operative society had protested in Belagavi, demanding that he return their deposits. Anand had been absconding ever since.
The film producer had gone underground a month ago, when the customers demanded his immediate arrest.
DCP Amarnath Reddy of Belagavi City said that Anand was brought by a team of police officials to Belagavi, and produced before a local court on Monday evening. DCP Reddy said that Anand was seeking anticipatory bail to avoid arrest, while he had absconded.
The assistant manager of the cooperative department had lodged a complaint against Anand and all office-bearers of the society at the Khade Bazar police station. Following this, a case was registered under Sections 406, 408 and 420 of the IPC for allegedly cheating investors.
According to the complaint, an audit report was submitted by the society on March 31. It collected deposits of Rs 232.69 crore from the public, but hadn't submitted a detailed report to the department.
According to a report by Times of India, Anandâ€™s lawyers had applied for bail in different courts in Belagavi, but could not get one, as the police had asked courts not to grant him bail in the wake of rising protests against him by customers.
A JMFC rejected his bail petition two weeks ago, his lawyers moved another court, where the bail application was once again rejected.
The report states that the chances of a court granting Anand anticipatory bail were bleak, as the number of complaints being filed against him is on the rise.
The Sandalwood producer had established more than 50 branches of his cooperative society over 20 years and his business was thriving until a few months ago, as none of customers had ever complained against him till now.
Police suspect that he had heavily invested in real estate as he had bought many plots of land, farmhouses and bungalows. Anand had also bought several high-end cars and SUVs. When his customers began demanding their deposits back, he had assured them as well as the management of the society, that he would pay the depositors within months.
His lawyers are likely to ask the court for time to settle the dues, when the case comes up for hearing, the ToI report adds.
Anand became extremely successful when the Kannada film he produced - Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna, became a big hit. He has produced and directed many Kannada films, and also entered politics a decade ago.