Amit Bhardwaj — the key accused of one of the world’s biggest crypto Ponzi schemes has died from cardiac arrest today, people close to Bhardwaj confirmed the news to Inc42.
Earlier this month, Bhardwaj was found Covid positive and was hospitalised at Fortis Hospital, Vasant Kunj. However, he had recovered from Covid, said one of his close associates.
According to Amit Bhardwaj’s lawyers, he was suffering from kidney ailments and needed constant medical supervision. This was also why the Supreme Court had granted him bail on April 3, 2019. The Supreme Court later had also ruled, “Considering his health condition, we direct exemption from personal appearance in all these Courts and for till the next date of hearing.”
With Bhardwaj gone, the investigation will now be focused on other accused in the case. For the last two years, besides a couple of charge sheets by Pune Police, there have not been many significant developments in terms of further investigations.
Lately, the Enforcement Directorate, Mumbai zone has been investigating the case and had interrogated Bhardwaj at his home. His brother Vivek Bhardwaj and his mother Bimla Devi were also interrogated.
For the period between 2012 and 2016, Amit Bhardwaj was regarded as the crypto guru from India. Some of today’s top exchanges’ founders entered crypto because of Bhardwaj.
After publishing a couple of crypto-related books, Bhardwaj managed to create a fata morgana out of Bitcoin, convinced thousands of people to invest in his multi-level-marketing schemes. He convinced them to the extent that a lot of people went on to take loans for investing.
According to ED filings, the number of victims a.k.a investors in GainBitcoin Scam, is said to be around 8,000.
He founded a slew of companies — AmazeMiners, GBMiners, and CoinBank — under the parent company Amaze Mining And Blockchain Research Ltd, registered in Hong Kong and GainBitcoin as part of his Singapore-based company Variabletech Pvt Ltd. He had even gone on to coin a new cryptocurrency/token — MCAP.
Promising a highly inflated 10% monthly return on Bitcoin investments for 18 months under multi-level marketing (MLM) schemes such as Bitcoin Growth Fund, Amit Bhardwaj, went missing by the end of 2017 after an alleged scam of then $300 Mn. Bhardwaj was later arrested from Bangkok airport in March, 2018 and brought to Pune by Pune Police.