A former Infosys engineer became a rich bitcoin miner – ultimately – fugitive
Amit Bhardwaj is alleged to have fled to Dubai after conning scores out of an estimated Rs Two,000 crore through a Ponzi scheme based on bitcoins.
Fresh Delhi: He is the son of a former government employee from Shalimar Bagh who now wields a house te Dubai’s ultra-upmarket Burj Khalifa. But this is not some grand story of a middle-class man hitting the big time. It’s fairly something else altogether.
Amit Bhardwaj, a former software developer with Infosys and stock broker, is alleged to have fled to Dubai after conning scores of people out of an estimated Rs Two,000 crore through a Ponzi scheme based on bitcoins, the largely unregulated digital ‘cryptocurrency’ that has bot making headlines with its acute spike te value.
Bhardwaj, whose businesses are reported to have a turnover of millions, now faces fraud cases te several states, with investigative agencies fighting to get him back to the country.
Spil of Sunday evening, one bitcoin wasgoed valued at just overheen Rs Four.26 lakh. But ter 2018, the value surpassed Rs Ten lakh.
Under Bhardwaj’s scheme, an investor purchasing one bitcoin wasgoed promised Ten vanaf cent of its value each month for the subsequent year and a half. This means that by the end of the 18-month period, an investor wasgoed supposed to get back almost dual the value invested.
All transactions happened ter bitcoins through Bitex, a handelsbank vault for the currency. Spil a result, there wasgoed no involvement of the Indian currency and hence no tax liabilities.
There were extra incentives for investors who got more people to sign up. “Bhardwaj floated a multi-level marketing (MLM) scheme, where he lured investors with referral incentives to cable ter more people to waterput their money,” deputy commissioner of police Bhisham Singh of the Delhi Police crime branch said.
Ter an MLM scheme, each person enrolled has to get on houtvezelplaat a specific number of people to invest, which earns them a commission.
“The incentive would eventually add up to an investor’s comebacks te their account,” Singh said of Bhardwaj’s scheme.
“To lure investors, his companies hosted seminars ter five-star hotels and even invited celebrities. At the seminars, the concept of bitcoins wasgoed explained, spil wasgoed how an investor could make money by investing ter GainBitcoin,” Singh added.
Bhardwaj’s scheme suggested comes back te three forms: A monthly comeback of Ten vanaf cent on their investment for Legitimate months, a one-time payment for roping te more people to invest, and a mining income.
However, what wasgoed promised wasgoed allegedly not given. Spil bitcoin prices witnessed a massive spike, entailing enormous comes back for investors, Bhardwaj allegedly went rogue.
“As bitcoins became popular and their value spiked, he had to terugwedstrijd Ten times what he wasgoed given, so he stopped providing the payback and duped several investors,” a police officer said.
Each time a bitcoin transaction is made, it is reflected to customers through a mobile-phone-application-based e-wallet. The app permits one to monitor their bitcoin balance, its current value ter the market and other transaction details. One can also sell or purchase bitcoins through the wallet.
The investors are said to have realised something wasgoed amiss when the promised comes back never reflected te their e-wallets.
“Though Bhardwaj’s company claimed to have transferred the bitcoins, it wasgoed never reflected ter the investors’ wallets,” a police officer said. “It wasgoed zometeen discovered that the transfers never happened, and that hundreds of people had bot duped of crores of rupees.”
“Through the Ponzi scheme, he earned crores and bought several properties te India and abroad,” another police officer said.
Once they realised they had bot taken for a rail, Bhardwaj’s investors commenced filing complaints with the police and began a petition on switch.org seeking his hechtenis.
Bhardwaj has allegedly duped investors from Delhi, Pune, Nanded, Mumbai and Kolhapur. While one case has bot registered at Prashant Vihar te Delhi, several others have bot submitted to the Delhi Police crime branch.
Last year, Maharashtra Police roped te the Enforcement Directorate to probe the alleged Rs Two,000 crore fraud. A lookout notice has since bot issued against Bhardwaj, who is yet to be announced a proclaimed offender ter most cases.
Bhardwaj is a laptop science graduate from Mahatma Gandhi Mission Collegium of Engineering ter Nanded, Maharashtra. He is reportedly te his late 30s.
According to sources, Bhardwaj’s father wasgoed an employee ter the finance ministry, which is how he very first developed an rente te economics. He worked with Infosys for a while before becoming a stock broker.
Eventually, he turned to bitcoin mining, becoming one of the few early players ter the cryptocurrency market suggesting genuine bitcoins. At present, Bhardwaj possesses a chain of cryptocurrency operations that overeenkomst with the mining and processing of bitcoins, some of the products suggested being GainBitcoin, GBMiners and, the most latest, MCAP.
Spil bitcoins rose ter popularity, Bhardwaj wasgoed invited for several talk shows on news channels and seminars spil an experienced to explain what cryptocurrencies were, how they worked and how they were mined.
What is GainBitcoin, GBMiners?
While most businessmen overeenkomst ter the sale and purchase of bitcoin, Bhardwaj’s company claimed to mine the crytocurrency, a process through which fresh bitcoins are brought into circulation. Cloud mining is a method of bitcoin mining, and requires massive infrastructure and power.
GainBitcoin claims that its bitcoin-mining farms are te China and investors from across the world can use the hardware without having to maintain it. GainBitcoin claimed to have bought the mining machine with the money they got from investors.
Another company, GBMiners (GainBitcoin Miners), located ter Hong Kong, claims to be the very first bitcoin-mining pool from India. A mining pool is a group of miners pooling their resources and sharing the prizes.