Cryptocurrency scam: Man booked for cheating Pune lawyer of 220 bitcoins worth 42 crores

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Pune: The police have booked Satish Kumbhani, founder and owner of BitConnect, an investment platform, for allegedly duping a Pune-based lawyer in a multi-core scam. The case was registered based on a complaint by the lawyer at the cyber crime police station, as reported by the Hindustan Times.
The lawyer who was based in Kondhwa Budruk had invested ₹49 lakh in 54 bitcoins as the accused has assured him returns of 166 bitcoins. However, he was allegedly made to reinvest into various Ponzi schemes and was duped of a total amount of Rs 42 crores, according to police officials, as reported by the Hindustan Times.
Senior police inspector DS Hake said that Kumbhani and his allies were running a virtual currency scheme through which they allegedly mislead investors. The police have registered cases under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and further investigations are being carried out, as reported by the Hindustan Times.

In a similar incident earlier today in Pune, a man (38) was duped of Rs 13 lakh after he was lured by high returns on cryptocurrency trading. Notably, the victim was made to download an application that kept showing that he was earning huge profits, The Indian Express reported.

According to an FIR registered at Nigdi police station, the man, who works as a manager at a pharma company in Ranjangaon industrial area, said he received a message from a person named Venessa who identified herself as a bitcoin trading assistant. She gave information about bitcoin trading and said her firm takes 20 percent of profits as commission in return for facilitating the bitcoin trading.

Subsequently, the complainant was allegedly made to share his details through a registration form and was made to download phone and computer-based versions of an application. As he continued trading, the application showed his virtual profits to be around close to Rs 1.23 crore, he told the police.

When he thought of encashing a proportion of his profits, he was first made to make a payment of Rs 5.25 lakh. He was later given another fake pretext that he had not paid taxes on his earnings and was asked to pay Rs 7.37 lakh as 30 per cent taxes on his profits, the FIR stated. However, recently, when he was told that he would have to pay Rs 5 lakh more as his trading account had been blocked, he realised that he was being conned. He later approached the police and after a preliminary probe, an FIR was registered on August 15.

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