India: $300 million worth Bitcoin Ponzi scheme accused gets interim bail

Amit Bharadwaj, the accused in a Bitcoin Ponzi scheme worth $300 million, was granted interim bail by the Supreme Court of India.

Bharadwaj, the Founder of GainBitcoin, was suffering from kidney failure for months, his lawyer Deepak Prakash informed the court. According to reports, Bharadwaj spent most of his prison time being admitted in a jail hospital in Delhi. Bharadwaj had skipped all court hearings since December 2018 due to health issues. These hearings pertained to the 12 criminal cases filed against him by the Enforcement Directorate throughout the country.

The Supreme Court of India heard his bail plea on 27 March and ordered his lawyers to submit his medical reports on 3 April. Advocate Prakash submitted Bharadwaj’s medical report attested by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences [AIIMS]. The report revealed that the accused had undergone a kidney transplant this year.

The medical report noted that Bharadwaj’s kidneys were functioning normally, leading to his plea getting dismissed. However, his lawyer debated the dismissal, arguing that Bharadwaj needed time to gain back his physical and mental fitness. After much deliberation, the court agreed to grant him temporary relief from prison.

However, Bharadwaj was asked to deposit a bond of ₹ 100 million [$1.5 million] for bail. The significant bail amount imposed by the court on Bharadwaj is an incentive against the accused absconding, while on bail.

Bharadwaj was not the only one involved in the GainBitcoin Ponzi scheme. Seven other culprits including, Amit Bharadwaj’s brother, Vivek Bhardwaj, were apprehended, reported CCN.

Vivek Bharadwaj received an interim bail on 3 April alongside his brother. The rest of the accused were also jailed briefly, but were also bailed out. The Amit Bharadwaj-led scam impacted 6,000 investors in India alone.

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