According to the Times of India, a report has been filed by the police in the city of Chandigarh, northern India, against Hemant Bhope, Pankaj Adlakha, Amit Bhardwaj, and his brother Vivek Bharadwaj. The four suspects have been accused of cryptocurrency investment fraud, allegedly scamming a victim out of 6 – 10 crore rupees (1 crore is equal to 10,000,000 rupees), or approximately $0.8 – $1.4 million.
Currently the charge-sheet runs over 1,800 pages with reports from 15 complaints and 27 witnesses and includes the RBI document declaring that Bitcoin is not a legal tender. Amit Bhardwaj has been charged with masterminding an investment scheme for trading and mining Bitcoin under the company name GainBitcoin.
His brother, V. Bharadwaj, faces charges for being a main conspirator, marketing, promoting and speaking at events organized by the company. H. Bhope has been pointed as the company secretary and motivational speaker, having assured investors in the investments’ safety, while P.Adlakha was playing the role of a promoter.
The Bhardwaj brothers have already been arrested once on the 4th of April at Indira Gandhi airport for allegedly obtaining money illegally from 8,000 investors. This scheme was again ran under the company name GainBitcoin, and through it they were able to defraud the investors of roughly 2,000 crores (or roughly $300 million). The company was established in 2013, and allegedly guaranteed 10% monthly returns within 18 months.
According to the police, the latest complainant claims to have met A. Bharadwaj in 2016 and was lured by promises of high profits on investment in bitcoin. After hearing about the April arrest, the complainant checked his online account to find there were no Bitcoins in it, after which he filed a report with the UT police cyber cell.
The fraudsters will face a hearing on the 4th of December, during which they will be provided with the charge-sheet and the charges will be finalized and framed.