A suspected cryptocurrency fraud thought leader was arrested in India after fleeing the country to Dubai. Investors have been tricked into investing in a cryptocurrency that is linked to a crypto exchange he has set up. The program also promised investors a monthly return of 20 to 30% on investments.
Alleged kingpin arrested by crypto scam
A suspected cryptocurrency fraud thought leader Umesh Verma was arrested at Indira Gandhi International Airport on Thursday when arriving from Dubai. Local media reported that he was arrested “on charges of defrauding at least 45 people for 2.5 billion rupees in a cryptocurrency scam”.
The 60-year-old is being held by the Delhi Police Department of Economic Crimes. Verma has been accused of defrauding and misusing investors’ funds under the guise of cryptocurrency trading. The case was registered with the police in September.
Verma, a graduate of Delhi University, had a jewelry and greeting cards business that suffered enormous losses. He was arrested by the Revenue Intelligence Directorate in December 2017 in a gold smuggling case.
He and his son Bharat Verma founded Pluto Exchange in 2017. They claimed to be launching India’s first mobile application for trading cryptocurrencies. Verma opened an office in a prominent location in Connaught Place. He lured people into investing in the exchange’s cryptocurrency using YouTube promotional videos in November 2017, resulting in two websites he controls: plutoexchange.com and f2poolmining.com.
The program promised investors a monthly return of 20-30% on their investments in Pluto Exchange’s cryptocurrency, as well as a commission for recruiting more employees to invest in the cryptocurrency.
When the company failed to deliver on its promises, Verma informed investors that the price of Bitcoin had fallen and several of the company’s bank accounts had been seized. He also often changed his address to avoid the victims. His company then closed its offices in India and Verma fled the country to Dubai in 2018, where he started a commodities trading business under the name Bharat Umesh General Trading LLC.
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