Fugitive BitConnect Founder Kumbhani Indicted in US Is Now Wanted in India Too

by Abiodun Oladokun
7 ways to make with crypto

Fugitive BitConnect Founder Kumbhani Indicted in US Is Now Wanted in India Too

Amitoj Singh is CoinDesk's regulatory reporter covering India. He holds BTC and ETH below CoinDesk's disclosure threshold of $1,000.

Satish Kumbhani, the founder of crypto protocol BitConnect, is being sought by Indian police in the southwest city of Pune after an investor named him in a complaint over missing bitcoins.

  • The complaint, known as a First Information Report (FIR), was filed after a local lawyer said he lost close to 220 bitcoins worth Rs 420 million ($5.2 million) through multiple cryptocurrency investment platforms, according to a police officer who spoke to CoinDesk.
  • A First Information Report is prepared by the police after verifying the facts of the complaint and requires an official investigation.
  • BitConnect, founded in 2016, was a popular project in the initial coin offering (ICO) rage in mid-2017. It raised billions of dollars from investors for a protocol that purportedly paid out 10% in interest earnings via its BCC token. Users who referred other investors received even more benefits.
  • Kumbhani disappeared in February after being indicted in a $2.4 billion Ponzi scheme that is said to have defrauded investors in the U.S.
  • The lawyer, who wasn’t identified, named Kumbhani and six others and said he was defrauded of his original investment of 54 bitcoins and the returns of 166 bitcoins that he was made to reinvest into platforms between 2016 and 2021, according to Indian Express, which reported the filing earlier.
  • Earlier this year U.S. officials said in a legal filing that Kumbhani likely vanished from India and his whereabouts were unknown.
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