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A Grand Jury in San Diego has indicted Satish Kumbhani.

The renowned BitConnect Ponzi scam was founded by Kumbhani, an Indian native.

According to a news statement released by the Department of Justice earlier today;

However, according to the indictment, BitConnect was a Ponzi scheme that paid early BitConnect investors with money from later BitConnect investors.

Kumbhani and his associates were able to raise $2.4 billion in total from investors.

The indictment also claims that after almost a year of operation, Kumbhani unexpectedly shut down the Lending Program.

BitConnect’s demise was recorded by BehindMLM in January 2017.

Kumbhani then instructed his network of promoters to deceptively manipulate and pump up the price of BitConnect’s digital currency, BitConnect Coin (BCC), to create the false impression of the real market demand for BCC.

Working to circumvent US banking restrictions is one of the allegations levied against Kumbhani (right).

Kumbhani’s indictment was not publicly accessible at the time of publishing. Early next week, I expect the case to appear on Pacer.

Kumbhani faces charges of wire fraud, conspiracy to conduct wire fraud, conspiracy to commit commodities price manipulation, operating an unregistered money transmitting company, and conspiracy to launder money internationally.

He faces a maximum sentence of 70 years in jail if convicted on all counts.

Title 18, U.S.C., Section 1349: Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud

Twenty years in jail, forfeiture, restitution and a $250,000 fine are the maximum penalties.

Section 1343 of Title 18, United States Code

Twenty years in jail, forfeiture, restitution and a $250,000 fine are the maximum penalties.

Section 371 of Title 18, United States Code

Maximum sentence: five years in jail and a fine of $250,000

Unlicensed Money Transmitting Business—Title 18, United States Code, Section 1960

Five years in prison, forfeiture and a $250,000 fine are the maximum penalties.

Conspiracy to Launder Money—Title 18, United States Code, Section 1956 (h)

Twenty years in jail, forfeiture and a $250,000 fine are the maximum penalties.

When it happens, I’ll write an essay about the specifics of the Kumbhani indictment.

In the meantime, Kumbhani’s whereabouts are unknown. He is “at large,” according to a press release from the Department of Justice.

According to an SEC filing from January, Kumbhani left India a few years ago.

The Commission learned in October 2021 that Kumbhani had most likely gone from India to an unknown address in another nation.

The Commission has asked the country’s financial regulatory agencies for help in identifying Kumbhani so that it can serve him and Bitconnect via him.

The Commission has yet to receive such an address and has no way of knowing how long it will take to get one.

Kumbhani moved to Dubai in 2018, according to BehindMLM.

The UAE has established a haven for fraudsters due to restricted extradition treaties and a lack of cooperation with foreign authorities.

Dubai is known as the MLM fraud capital of the globe, according to BehindMLM.

“Today’s indictment reaffirms the FBI’s commitment to identifying and confronting rogue actors deceiving investors and sullying the capacity of legitimate businesses to develop within the emerging cryptocurrency industry,” stated FBI Cleveland Field Office Special Agent in Charge Eric B. Smith.

“Adding a novel twist to a tried-and-true fraud scheme and basing it overseas will not discourage the FBI’s drive and dedication to thoroughly investigate and bring such criminals to justice.”

Last year, the SEC filed a civil fraud complaint against Kumbhani. That lawsuit is still in progress.

It remains to be seen whether a $2 billion MLM Ponzi scam is enough to compel Dubai’s authorities to take fraud seriously.

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