The Indian police have launched an investigation into Bitconnect and booked its founder after a bitcoin investor reported being defrauded by the global crypto “Ponzi scheme.” According to U.S. authorities, the scheme reached a market capitalization of $3.4 billion at its peak. The founder and his co-conspirators allegedly obtained about $2.4 billion from investors.
Bitconnect’s Founder Wanted by Indian Police
The founder of Bitconnect, one of the most famous fraudulent cryptocurrency investment schemes, is wanted by the Indian police in the city of Pune, Maharashtra, after the U.S. indicted him for defrauding investors.
The Pune Police launched a probe into the multi-crore crypto scheme and booked its founder, Satish Kumbhani, after a local lawyer lodged a first information report (FIR) on Tuesday. He also named six others involved in the scheme. The lawyer stated in the FIR that he was defrauded for close to 220 bitcoins.
The Indian police are now searching for the accused but no arrests have been made. They are also investigating whether the same people have defrauded more investors.
Kumbhani, an Indian national, is already being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The U.S. indicted him in February for his role as the founder of the fraudulent crypto scheme. Calling Bitconnect a “global Ponzi scheme,” the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) described:
Bitconnect is an alleged fraudulent cryptocurrency investment platform that reached a peak market capitalization of $3.4 billion.
The Justice Department explained that Kumbhani, 36, of Hemal, India, “misled investors” about Bitconnect’s lending program. They claimed that it used proprietary technology, namely the “Bitconnect Trading Bot” and “Volatility Software” to “generate substantial profits and guaranteed returns by using investors’ money to trade on the volatility of cryptocurrency exchange markets.” The authority emphasized:
Bitconnect operated as a Ponzi scheme by paying earlier Bitconnect investors with money from later investors.
“In total, Kumbhani and his co-conspirators obtained approximately $2.4 billion from investors,” the DOJ added.
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