An Indian cryptocurrency scam artist and his brother have been arrested for allegedly duping thousands of investors out of $300 million through bitcoin-based Ponzi schemes.

Amit Bharadwaj and his brother Vivekkumar, founders and CEOs of GainBitcoin, which was created in 2013 as a cloud-based platform for trading and mining of bitcoin, have appeared before court, which ordered they remain in police custody until the 13th April, reports The Times of India.

Last year, Amit Bharadwaj is reported to have said that GainBitcoin provides a trustworthy and robust trading environment for its more than one million customers. However, as reported by the International Business Times, the website was a Ponzi scheme that promised 10 percent monthly returns for 18 months.

The two are accused of cheating 8,000 people across the country, amounting to Rs 2,000 core or $300 million.

Rashmi Shukla, Pune police commissioner, said at a press conference that they had information that the two would be arriving at Delhi. However, while she didn’t give information as to where they were coming from, it’s reported that they arrived from Bangkok. In order to ensure they didn’t miss the pair a team of officers were set up that remained stationed for 10 days. Shukla added that they took them into custody as soon as they arrived.

She said:

There are a few more people involved in the case who are on the run. We have issued a look out circular and have deployed three teams to trace them.

Aside from operating GainBitcoin, New Delhi-based Bharadwaj also started India’s first online retailer – Highkart that allowed bitcoin-based payments. However, the company shut down operations in 2016. Also that year, he created Amaze Mining & Blockchain Research, CoinBank Wallet, and GBMiners, all linked with bitcoin and the blockchain.

He has also written several books, on blockchain and cryptocurrency, including ‘Cryptocurrency For Beginners’, ‘Cryptocurrency Trading’ and ‘Cryptocurrency Mining.’ Yet, despite this it seems that wanting more was always the end goal. Unfortunately, it seems that for the two brothers the only way to achieve this was by scamming thousands of people out of their money.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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