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ED Seizes Properties Worth ₹97.79 Crore Linked to Raj Kundra in Bitcoin Ponzi Scam Probe

Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has confiscated properties worth ₹97.79 Crore associated with Raj Kundra, husband of Bollywood actor Shilpa Shetty, as part of an investigation related to a Bitcoin Ponzi scheme.

The probe, initiated based on multiple complaints filed by Maharashtra and Delhi Police against Variable Tech Private Limited, late Amit Bhardwaj, Ajay Bhardwaj, Vivek Bhardwaj, Simpy Bhardwaj, Mahender Bhardwaj, and others, has brought to light alleged fraudulent activities amounting to approximately ₹6,600 Crore in Bitcoins in 2017.

According to the ED, the accused enticed investors with promises of 10% monthly returns through Bitcoin investments but deceived them, concealing the ill-gotten Bitcoins in obscure online wallets.

During the investigation, it was discovered that Raj Kundra had received 285 Bitcoins from Amit Bhardwaj, the mastermind behind the Gain Bitcoin Ponzi scheme. These Bitcoins, valued at over ₹150 Crore, were intended for establishing a Bitcoin mining farm in Ukraine. However, the deal fell through, leaving Kundra in possession of the Bitcoins.

The seized properties include a residential flat in Juhu, currently registered in Shilpa Shetty’s name, a residential bungalow in Pune, and equity shares owned by Raj Kundra.

This is not the first time Raj Kundra has found himself embroiled in legal troubles. In 2021, he was arrested in a case involving the production and distribution of pornographic films through a subscriber-driven mobile app called ‘Hotshots’. While he obtained bail in that case from the Supreme Court, the recent seizure of properties underscores the continuing legal woes faced by the businessman.

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