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Bitcoin Scams

Police In India Seizes $2 Million Worth Of BTC After Cracking A Ponzi Scheme

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The police in India have managed to bust a Ponzi scheme in the city of Pune which we can read in our latest crypto news. They managed to seize about $2 million worth of Bitcoin after 8.000 investors were scammed.

According to local news outlet The Times of India, the police were tracking the scammers since January and have succeeded into arresting the scam’s leader Amit Bhardwaj and ten other accomplices for their activities.

Bhardwaj and his brother were taken from Dubai to Delhi were a trail for them is set. The scam leader supposedly owned a company GainBitcoin that promised the investors a 10% return so they can lure them into the Ponzi scheme. Bhardwaj used the money to live luxuriously and to throw parties to attract even more victims.

Despite the entire operation happening in Pune, the scammers were also hosts of luxury parties across Dubai and Macau.

The police in India received hundreds of complaints from the investors that got scammed over the past six months which only meant collecting more evidence to the piles collected since January.

When Bhardwaj was arrested for creating the Ponzi scheme, he was ordered to return the money invested in the scam but the criminal denied all allegations. Once he was thoroughly investigated and the police performed digital forensics on him and his gang, they found all of the invested cryptocurrencies.

The police confiscated more than 450 bitcoins from a single cryptocurrency wallet that was used by the scam’s gang members. In November, the authorities also found and seized about 30 bitcoins, 400,000 rupees in cash and 80 ETH as a part of the investigation.

The scammers might have stashed about 150 bitcoins away with about 80.000 ETH.

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Bitcoin Scams

Ex-CEO Of Crypto Startup AriseBank Pleaded Guilty Of Defrauding Investors For $4.2 Million

Jared Rice Sr., who is the former CEO of the crypto decentralized startup AriseBank and the creator of the AriseCoin, pleaded guilty to defrauding investors out of more than $4.2 million in a crypto scam and this is what we are reading in the latest cryptocurrency news below. The United States Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox published the official announcement after Rice Sr. was arrested by the FBI at the end of December 2018. Rice has managed to make a deal with the U.S. SEC after the agency put up a civil action against him and his former executives after they scammed investors for more than $2.5 million. Nealy Cox stated:
 “We will not tolerate flagrant deception of investors – virtual or otherwise.”
This kind of a plea deal Rice agreed to with Cox is one of the first of its kinds in the US Federal Court that includes crypto companies. Rice pleaded guilty on security fraud charges after he admitted that he lied potential investors into investing hundreds of dollars. Rice was found guilty of scamming investors into buying his AriseCoin cryptocurrency which claimed to bring ‘’no-risk returns.’’ Investors placed their money right into Rice’s scam net and invested more than $4,250,000 in BTC, ETH, and LTC, into the ICO that was supposed to provide them with the AriseCoin. He also claimed that he raised $600 million in an ICO which later turned out to be false. The US Attorney’s Office stated:
 “Mr. Rice quietly converted investor funds for his own personal use, spending the money on hotels, food, transportation, a family law attorney, and even a guardian ad litem – facts he failed to disclose to investors.’’
AriseBank was named as the best-decentralized bank by Rice and he claimed that the crypto bank will provide the customers ‘’FDIC-insured accounts and transactions’’ which the United States Securities and Exchange Commission turned out to be false. He also claimed that his bank supports Visa card payments and that the platform supports hundreds of virtual currencies. AriseBank was not authorized for providing banking services in the state of Texas. Rice is now obliged to repay the investors who lost their money and he is also facing twenty years in prison if he gets sentenced in July. Initially, he was facing up to 120 years in federal prison.
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Bitcoin Scams

QuadrigaCX Co-Founder Was Involved In Criminal Activities In The Past

Michael Patryn, the co-founder of the controversial QuadrigaCX exchange was involved in the past in multiple criminal activities in the past according to reports that reached our crypto news today. Patryn co-founded the now defunct Canadian crypto exchange together with Gerald Cotten in 2013. The reports show that Michael Patryn was initially known as Omar Dhanani or known to law enforcement to be involved in multiple crimes while living in the United States. After the passing of the founder and CEO of Quadriga, nearly $145 million in clients’ crypto funds went missing from the exchange. Quadriga is now stuck in legal proceedings after controversial stories emerged in the news that the missing funds could be actually stolen. Ernst & Young were appointed as an independent auditor in order to monitor the creditor protection case. Cotten died of complications of Crohn’s disease. Patryn left the exchange back in 2016 after he claimed to have a huge disagreement with Cotten over listing processes that were happening in the company. According to Canadian news outlets, Patryn and his partner Lovie Horner still remained as the two largest shareholders in QuadrigaCX despite leaving the company three years ago. While of course, Patryn denied all allegations that he used to be Dhanani, reports from official government agencies from Canada show that he legally changed his name twice- in 2003 and 2008. Dhanani was sentenced to 18 months in prison after he was arrested for identity theft and bank and credit card fraud in 2005. The 22-year-old Dhanani pleaded guilty for operating on shadowcrew.com which is now a non-operating marketplace that had 1.5 million stolen credit card numbers. In 2007 Dhanani also pleaded guilty for multiple criminal cases including grand larceny, burglary, and computer fraud according to the California court records. Patryn later ‘’changed his life around’’ and claimed to be a Bitcoin entrepreneur after he got deported to Canada. He is now allegedly based in Vietnam and serves as a chairman at Fintech Ventures Group which is actually a Canada-based company. Patryn showed he had a lot of experience on his LinkedIn profile where it says that he had been working for QuadrigaCX for 13 years.
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Bitcoin News

Boston Legal System Damaged After BTC Ransomware Attack

The Boston Public Defenders system suffered a bitcoin ransomware attack a couple of days ago but they still chose not to send the bitcoins that the attacked demanded. They decided to use the system’s back-ups to restore the services and in today’s cryptocurrency news we find out more about the attack. According to the Boston Globe, the decision not to pay the ransom means a massive slowdown of the system that will affect everyone within the system. The private attorneys started their work for indigent clients and now receive a small fee from the government. The ransomware attack also managed to interrupt the payments taking place at the moment and also locked up all of the essential digital services of the organization including e-mail usage. As a security measure, the organization went offline in order to clean the viruses. An official statement reads:
 “CPCS’s computer systems have been attacked and are not working properly. We are still representing clients. In addition, there is no evidence that confidential information from clients has been released as a result of these attacks.”
Initially, the attack happened on February 27. The organization believed that paying the ransom means a waste of money so they decided to restore the systems manually. Two weeks after, the entire justice system in Boston can feel the damaging effects. The agency cannot really say how long the delay will last or when they will get back online. In the meantime, people working in the agency cannot use their email or enter the agency’s website. Ransomware attacks became popular in 2015. The attackers mainly targeted police agencies that end up paying the ransom. The public infrastructure is always a target of ransomware attackers since the offer public services and cannot end up being crippled because the people are the ones who pay the higher price. The public defenders didn’t say how much money the attackers demanded. However, the cost to unlock a computer could start from $100 up to thousands of dollars. The attackers usually target victims individually but law enforcement agencies or other government agencies are not excluded. Last year, a couple of Dutch hackers were sentenced to community service after attacking more than 1,000 computer systems and gathering over $11,000.
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Bitcoin Scams

Thieves Steal $200k Worth Of Bitcoin (BTC) Across 7 Canadian Cities

Four scammers are in the latest Bitcoin news for allegedly stealing more than $200,000 from seven different Canadian cities. The heist was pulled off by substituting speed and convenience over security and fund safety - allowing the scammers to get away with the money from several Bitcoin ATMs across the Canadian cities. Police are now on the trail. However, what's more important is the fact that this theft is an indication of how malicious the elements are - and how sophisticated the Bitcoin scams are becoming. With new trends, it is easier to steal Bitcoin than ever before - especially from ATM machines which have always been vulnerable to attacks. On a different note, this heist sends an alarm on ATM manufacturers such as Genesis and CoinSource, motivating them to step up and implement appropriate solutions which will tackle the risks associated with zero-confirmation transactions. Therefore, they will shield ordinary enthusiasts keen on exploring and even experimenting on Bitcoin. Only a small percentage of people knows what Bitcoin actually is. The ones who know how BTC works is even lower. Even though zero-confirm transactions are fast and accepted by some merchants, it can also be disastrous for merchant if these transactions are reversed in a RBF or via double spending with higher fees. The ease execution of this Bitcoin scam is what wonders many. In times when Bitcoin (BTC) is sitting below $4,000 and is in a stable position with no visible gains so far, the $200k worth of BTC that was stolen gave the scammers a bi of an advantage.  
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