June 16, 2024


New Delhi:

Notorious businessman Raj Kundra, who is also the spouse of the actress Shilpa Shetty, has come under the scanning eye of the Enforcement Directorate due to his involvement in a money laundering scenario related to a Ponzi scheme. The probing institution has brought Rs 97.79 crore worth of properties under its control which notably includes a flat in Mumbai under the actor’s name. However, Kundra is not the chief offender in this situation.

The Birth of the ‘Gain Bitcoin’ Scheme

The case relates to the cleverly devised investment plan named ‘Gain Bitcoin’ that was launched back in 2017. Investors were lured in with deceitful guarantees of a 10% monthly return which would be received in the form of bitcoins.

Within a narrow timeframe, the fraudulent minds managed to amass Rs 6,600 crore.

The Deception of the Investors

The primary culprits, Ajay Bhardwaj and Mahendra Bhardwaj, convinced the investors that the accumulated amount would be put to use for mining bitcoins which would subsequently lead to instantaneous and plentiful gains.

The initial few months saw profits being dispensed to the pioneer investors using the funds contributed by the newer ones. This payment, however, halted when attracting new investors became challenging.

The leftover capital was then spent on purchasing more bitcoins which were concealed in digital wallets of an obscure origin.

Multiple FIRs filed by the Police departments of Maharashtra and Delhi lead to the initiation of the probe by the Enforcement Directorate.

Involvement of Raj Kundra

The investigation led to revelations that Raj Kundra had accepted 285 Bitcoins from Amit Bhardwaj, the main operator and promoter of the ‘Gain Bitcoin’ Ponzi Scam, with the proposal of establishing a Bitcoin mining farm in Ukraine, as disclosed by ED.

“Due to the deal falling through, Raj Kundra continues to hold and enjoy the benefits of 285 Bitcoins which are presently estimated to be worth more than Rs 150 crore,” a representative from ED informed news agency IANS.

Denial of Allegations

Raj Kundra and Shilpa Shetty have collectively rejected any participation in the scheme and stand firm in their belief of being exonerated after the investigation.

“No concrete allegations have been made against my clients Mr Raj Kundra and Mrs Shilpa Shetty Kundra based on prima facie evidence. We place our trust in the esteemed Judiciary,” shared the couple’s legal representative Prashant Patil.