CBI Busts Crypto Scam, Seizes Rs 6.8 Crore Worth of Digital Assets in Ongoing Investigation

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Pune, 21st October 2023: The Central Bureau of Investigation has registered a case against an accused. It was alleged that the said accused (an Indian National) contacted a US citizen over phone under a pseudonymous identity of “James Carlson”, introducing himself from a Fraud Department of a Multi-National Company falsely informing the victim that someone had been trying to order a computer using Account of the victim (as available on said MNC). It was further alleged that the accused also misguided the victim that people in 04 different States had used Social Security Number of the victim to open Accounts of said MNC.

It was also alleged that the the accused induced the victim to withdraw cash from his bank accounts and deposit the same in bitcoin at RockitCoin ATM Wallet and shared a QR code falsely informing him that the same was opened by US Treasury for the victim. The accused also emailed a fake letter dated 20.09.2022 purportedly issued by Federal Trade Commission, USA to gain trust of the victim. In pursuance of the said inducement, the victim allegedly withdrew an amount of US$ 1,30,000 from his bank accounts on different dates during the period 30.08.2022 to 09.09.2022 and deposited the same in the Bitcoin address provided by the accused. Subsequently, the same were fraudulently misappropriated by the accused, thereby defrauding the victim to the extent of USD 1,30,000. The inputs were received from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, USA.

Searches were conducted at the premises of accused in Ahmedabad which led to recovery and seizure of crypto currencies viz, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, USDT, etc. worth 9.3 lakh US Dollars (approx) from the crypto wallets of the accused and incriminating material. During searches, the involvement of two other persons, both residents of Ahmedabad have also surfaced. Therefore, searches were also conducted at the premises of said persons which resulted in recovery of mobile phones, laptops containing incriminating material, etc.

Investigation is continuing.