Sahara Group's efforts to secure bail for its jailed chief Subrata Roy suffered a setback after it said on 5 February (Thursday) that a purported bank letter to back a $2 billion transaction to raise funds for Roy's release, was forged.

The letter was claimed to have been issued by Bank of America to US-based Saransh Sharma, whose company Mirach Capital Group was leading a deal to arrange funds for Roy's release.

Since his company was not having enough funds of its own, Sharma claimed to have roped in investors from the US and the UK and deposited the funds in a Bank of America account. He then produced a letter allegedly written by a Bank of America manager confirming the existence of funds in his account. The letter, as reported by Reuters, turned out to be forged.

The agency got a written response from the bank that said," "Bank of America isn't involved in the transaction."

The letter was submitted to the Supreme Court earlier by Mirach Capital in an effort to secure Roy's release. Subrata Roy needs to deposit about $1.6 billion to secure bail.

Sahara has been in talks with Mirach Capital to raise funds by refinancing its overseas hotel properties, including New York's Plaza and Grosvenor House in London.

Sahara asked its lawyer in London to visit the Bank of America branch in Los Angeles to check the authenticity of the letter. "We have now received the report ... it was a forged letter," the company said in a statement.

Subrata Roy is in jail for running an illegal bond scheme estimated at $7 billion.

Subrato Roy