News by Coindesk: Daniel Palmer
A promoter of the now-shuttered crypto fraud BitConnect has again been charged over a different claimed cryptocurrency scam.
The Times of India reported Monday that police in the city of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India, had received complaints that the promoter, Divyesh Darji, had been offering investors investment in a token called Regal Coin, claiming a possible 5,000-percent return.
Investigations by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Gujarat Police reportedly show that Darji established an investment platform called Regal Coin in September 2017. The investment scheme promised that for every $2 put in, investors would earn $100.
Darji also reportedly promised investors they could earn back their principal investment in 99 days and earn interest on their investment through robotic trading profit along with 1–1.6 percent in referral bonus every 11 days, the CID said.
Police found out about the scam after an alleged victim, identified as Vishal Savalia, reported to authorities that he’d lost 1.75 million Indian rupees ($25, 260) in Regal Coin. Savalia claimed he’d made the investment through Darji’s daughter Dimki and assistant Ramdayal Purohit.
Regal Coin reportedly operated through an app, which Savalia downloaded on his mobile phone.
Aside from Savalia, two other investors came have filed complaints against Darji, saying they invested 1.05 million rupees ($15,000) and 1.75 million rupees ($25,260), respectively, in Regal Coin.
The victims said that, at its peak, the value of Regal Coin had reached $100. Regal Coin eventually closed shop after allegedly taking nearly INR 45 million ($650,000) from investors.
While Purohit has been arrested. Darji, his daughter Dimki, and another aide, Mehul Pacchigar, reportedly remain at large. All three suspects have been charged of violating the Gujarat Protection of Investors Deposit Act and The Prize Chit Money Circulation Scheme Banning Act, says The Times.
Darji was previously arrested in August of last year over his role at Bitconnect, which closed shop in January 2018 after enforcement actions from state-level U.S. regulators.
The Times reported that, while Darji had been arrested at the Delhi airport on Aug. 18, 2018, he was released after posting bail with the Gujarat High Court last month.
Indian police car image via Shutterstock