The Enforcement Directorate conducted six raids earlier this month as part of a thorough investigation into the alleged defrauding of over 15,000 investors. India’s biggest crypto scam could come up to Rs 1 trillion shifting to a scale that has never been seen before in the nation.
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GainBitcoin’s cryptocurrency scam, which recently shook the country, turned out to be far larger than originally believed. According to sources, up to a lakh victims may have lost more than Rs 1 trillion as a result of the fraud.
The GainBitcoin fraud may have cost many others from other states their hard-earned money in addition to the 40 FIRs that victims have filed (more than 13 of which were filed in Maharashtra alone), reports The Quint.
60,000 User Ids And Email Addresses Traced
Amit Bhardwaj, the creator who passed away from a cardiac collapse earlier this year, may have amassed between 385,001 and 600,000 Bitcoins, totaling more than Rs 1 trillion.
The sum might change as Bitcoin values are still erratic, having fallen from an all-time high of almost $68,000 in November of last year to currently about $21,000.
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Using the present price of a Bitcoin, which is around Rs 23,57,250, the overall sum stolen equals little under Rs 90,500 crore.
According to many media sources, the Pune Police have located over 60,000 user IDs and email addresses so far in the GainBitcoin case.
How The Scheme Worked
GainBitcoin, like the majority of Ponzi scams, was a pyramid-style multilevel marketing ploy with Amit Bhardwaj at the head and his “Seven Stars,” who used to work both in India and internationally.
Through multilevel marketing campaigns, they promised a 10 percent monthly return on Bitcoin-on-Bitcoin deposits for a period of 18 months.
On the promise that their investments would expand during the aforementioned period, investors were persuaded to loan the firm Bitcoins.
Since there are only so many Bitcoins available, the model was faulty, but several investors had already invested before they realized their grievous error.
All Eyes On Amit Bhardwaj’s Brother
Ajay Bhardwaj, the brother of Amit Bhardwaj and the main suspect in the GainBitcoin fraud, is the subject of intense attention at the moment.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) argued that since the GainBitcoin scam is a Ponzi scheme, the question of the “legality of crypto currency” does not come up in the case and prompted the Supreme Court to order one of the alleged perpetrator to provide entry to his crypto wallet as well as the username and password.
“The investigation conducted so far has revealed that Amit Bhardwaj (who died in January this year) with connivance of petitioner, Vivek Bhardwaj, Mahender Bhardwaj and others i.e, multi-level marketing agents and associates have collected 80,000 bitcoins as proceeds of crime,” said the ED affidavit.
The ED informed the Supreme Court that the petitioner’s brother had passed away and that the login and password for the cryptocurrency wallets were in his control; these details had to be provided to the investigating officer. The petitioner’s attorney claimed that the Pune Police are in possession of some materials.
The Supreme Court censured Ajay Bhardwaj the following month for failing to follow its order to give the ED the username and password for his cryptocurrency wallets.
Several of the accused’s bitcoin wallets that were used to amass cryptocurrencies are still untraceable.
The ED conducted six raids earlier this month as part of a thorough investigation into the alleged defrauding of over 15,000 investors, including one in Delhi.
According to sources, the investigative agency seized a large number of electronic devices and important paperwork.
According to the allegations, searches were also conducted on a number of officers and lawyers associated with a law company in Delhi.