The Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) has recommended to the government to initiate the process of winding up 148 brokerages in India for conducting business in a fraudulent manner while dealing with investors who were cheated in the Rs 5,600-crore payment scam at the National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL). The SFIO recommendation follows an investigation into the NSEL payment fraud that came to light on July 31, 2013. The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) is considering the recommendation of the SFIO on brokerages and is expected to take a decision soon on the winding-up process, sources told. It is established beyond doubt that the business of the brokers was conducted in a fraudulent manner and therefore the SFIO investigation team recommends central government to take action under section 243 (c) of the Companies Act against these 148 brokers, said a SFIO probe report on the NSEL payment crisis. The SFIO probe has also found that the brokers failed in their duty to inform their clients on the risk in trading at NSEL and did not carry out due diligence to verify the availability of the traded commodities at the warehouses of NSEL they (brokers) induced their clients claiming that NSEL trading is the best way to earn risk-free fixed returns which are much more in comparison to available financial products. Thus the brokers were involved in mis-representation and mis-selling of the product, the SFIO report said.