Indian police launch probe into BitConnect founder wanted by US SEC
Satish Kumbhani is charged by the Indian state police for the BitConnect scam but remains missing in action
By Shashank Bhardwaj
BitConnect has managed to make news over the last couple of months with the ongoing crypto scam linked to Ponzi schemes, and another complication arises as the co-founders are reportedly wanted by the Indian state police. According to a report, Satish Kumbhani, the alleged founder of BitConnect, became the subject of an investigation by Maharashtra police.
It started when a Pune-based lawyer filed a complaint against Kumbhani after he lost 220 BTC (worth around $5.2 million) due to BitConnect. He reportedly invested in 54 BTC with returns of 166 BTC which he invested back into the platform. He claims that he transacted with the company from 2016 to June 2021, and that Kumbhani was accompanied by six other people in this scam.
BitConnect has been one of the biggest scams in crypto, with the Ponzi orchestrators allegedly fraudulently raising about $2.4 billion from misled investors from the start of their operations in February 2016 to the shutting down of the organisation in January 2018. Following this, the founders vanished with this money.
Satish Kumbhani was charged by the Department of Justice in February 2022 for orchestrating this scam and The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reported that it was unable to locate him, stating that his last known location was somewhere in India.
This is not the first story of the founders reported missing after pulling off a large-scale crypto scam. Authorities across the world are also looking for the founders of OneCoin, a $4 billion Ponzi scheme that was shut down in 2019. Ruja Ignatova, the Bulgarian-German creator of OneCoin, even made it to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s ‘Ten Most Wanted’ list in June 2022. They seem to be no closer to finding Ignatova though, since the ‘Cryptoqueen’ was last seen back in 2017.
There have been no arrests made in relation to the Kumbhani case yet, with the state police still searching for the crypto criminal.
Shashank is the founder at yMedia. He ventured into crypto in 2013 and is an ETH maximalist. Twitter: @bhardwajshash
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