Indian Police Charge Four In GainBitcoin Multimillion Cryptocurrency Ponzi Scheme
Indian police have finally charged four individuals for running a multi-level marketing cryptocurrency scam after arresting them last year.
Vivek Bharadwaj, Pankaj Adlakha and Hemant Bhope, led by Amit Bharadwaj have allegedly lured investors, presenting their plan as a highly lucrative investment under the name of GainBitcoin.
The individuals were arrested by Delhi Police and will face trial on December 4, 2018. The charge documents run over 1,800 pages including over 25 witnesses and a total of 15 unique complaints.
False images and empty promises
The founder of the “world’s most intelligent altcoin mining technology,” Bharadwaj presented himself as someone who started his crypto entrepreneurship back in 2016. Since then, he started four self-proclaimed highly successful cryptocurrency businesses, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Amaze Miners, GB Miners, CoinBank, and Amaze Mining & Blockchain Research Ltd., were the four companies shown on his profile in an effort to depict himself as someone investors should trust.
Lavish parties and meetings
As an old but proven strategy, Bharadwaj rented luxurious venues, such as yachts, for his congresses in Dubai and Macau, where investors were supposed to be amazed by the company’s success and attracted into getting involved with the scheme.
One defrauded individual even shared his story how Bharadwaj, when asked about the late-coming payments on one of these cruises, said that there is nothing to worry about and that all money will be returned.
Reportedly, the scheme even surpassed the borders of India, as it was reported that investors from other countries, such as China, Vietnam, Dubai, and Mauritius were also attending the cruises.
A multi-level collapse
As it is the case with all such schemes, those who got involved at the bottom got wrecked because there were no new investors to keep piling in the money needed to pay promised interests. In this case, neither the early or late investors got any returns.
When investors realized that their money was permanently gone, they decided to file the official legal complaint against Bharadwaj in the first half of 2017.
The founder of the “world’s most intelligent altcoin mining technology” was arrested in March 2017 in Delhi, and was held in custody ever since while the evidence against him was being gathered. It turned out that Amit Bharadwaj was, indeed, behind the whole scheme, while his brother, Vivek was doing the “dirty work” as a marketing manager and also being the main speaker at conventions.
The other two, Pankaj Adlakha and Hemant Bhope were engaged as motivational speakers and promoters of the GainBitcoin multi-level marketing scam.
It is interesting to note that Bharadwaj, when interrogated, agreed to return the money to two investors. However, he agreed to repay them the exact amount invested in fiat currency, despite the fact that almost all cryptocurrencies have since grown in price.
It seems that his bargain wasn’t accepted, and now he will have to answer in front of the Indian court.
The amount stolen varies from source to source
Since different sources report different stolen amounts, we cannot be sure how much Bharadwaj really made from his fraudulent business. Some reports say that the total amount can even climb to the unbelievable $300 million, while the latest estimations talk about more realistic $60 million.
Be that as it may, it is probable that until the lawsuit ends, we may not know the true size of the multi-level scam brothers were running with their accomplices.
However big it may be, it should remind investors, especially beginners, that they have to be careful who they entrust their money with.
Disclaimer: This is not investment advice. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile assets and are very risky investments. Do your own research and/or consult an investment professional before investing. Never invest more than you can afford to lose. Never borrow money to invest in cryptocurrencies.