Four men in India have been indicted for potentially running a crypto scam. The individuals are believed to have promoted a fake loan-conversion firm that potentially secured online loans and converted them into digital assets like BTC.
Four Men in India Indicted on Crypto Scam Charges
Police authorities are working with the National Cybercrime Reporting Portal to obtain the data they need on the men. They are Deepak Patwa (23 years of age), Dev Kishan (32 years of age), Suresh Singh (45 years of age), and Sunil Kumar Khatik (34 years of age). It is believed they may have duped several hundred individuals into handing over money in the hopes of making it big in crypto.
In what appears to be a classic example of a Ponzi scheme, the men are alleged to have taken the money from their victims and promised to invest the funds into various crypto-related outlets. In truth, the men used the funds to purchase lavish gifts for themselves including a new BMW car and engage in hardcore luxury lifestyles.
DCP (Rohini) Pranav Tayal explained in an interview:
The accused used to get money by cheating several bank account owners via UPI. They then converted it into cryptocurrency via an online exchange. Patwa received [a] cryptocurrency commission and redeemed it directly into his account and via hawala transactions… The accused were looking for an idea to dupe maximum people using an easy scheme. They found a YouTube video where they learnt about cheating people on the pretext of providing online loans. They were looking for more information when they met a Chinese national on [the messaging app]. The accused, Deepak, would take advice from this man on how to cheat people… The accused was converting all the cheated money… on a crypto platform. The cryptocurrency was then transferred to his other associates who would encase it using hawala channels. They thought it would be an easy way to hide the money trail.
The words crypto and crime often go together in the same sentence, especially in recent years. Some examples of illicit crypto behavior to have occurred over the past few months involve hacks on Axie Infinity, a digital gaming platform, and the Harmony exchange in Northern California. Together, it appears both companies may have lost more than $700 million in digital currency funds.
Crime and Crypto Seem to Move in the Same Direction
In addition, India – where the case appears to stem – has had a very up and down relationship with crypto. About four years ago, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said crypto companies could not garner financial services through standard monetary institutions, though this was later declared unconstitutional by the country’s Supreme Court.
It looked like crypto appreciation in India was going to grow tenfold, but now it seems regulators are debating about whether to instill a full ban on crypto.