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The Supreme Court of India has granted interim bail to Amit Bhardwaj in a $300 million Bitcoin Ponzi scheme case which was lodged against him by the Economic Directorate (ED). According to his lawyer, the GainBitcoin founder was suffering from kidney failure for several months prior to the bail grant and had been skipping hearings since December 2018 in 12 criminal cases filed against him.
This Bitcoin Ponzi scheme is one of India’s worst public fraud incidents, which already has a history of Bitcoin scams. The Supreme Court heard Bhardwaj’s bail plea on March 27. In the hearing, his lawyers had been told by the court to submit his medical records in the next hearing which was set to be held on April 3. The medical records submitted to the court in the hearing on April 3 revealed that Bhardwaj had been gone through a kidney transplant this year. The report which was attested by a Delhi based All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), was accepted by the court and played a major role in earning Bhardwaj a bail.
The report, however, also revealed that in recent times, Bhardwaj’s kidney had been functioning in a healthy manner. This revelation could have had a bad effect over his plea bargain, but his lawyers argued in court that he needed time to regain mental and physical fitness which had been affected by the chain of events leading up to the trial.
The bail grant had drawn criticism from the general public as well as the crypto community. However, the victims of the scam could find solace in the fact that this bail cost Bhardwaj a whopping INR100 million which is roughly equivalent to $1.5 million. Bhardwaj’s brother was also let out of jail on bail after he deposited a bond worth of INR 10 million.
Others involved in the scam include Sanchit, Rupesh Singh, Rajesh Jain, Ayush Varshney, Sahil Baghla, and Nikunj Jain. All of the aforementioned culprits are already out on bail as well. Furthermore, the Bhardwaj brothers had also requested the Supreme Court to close all the 12 cases listed against them.
All of this trouble started for the brothers back in January 2017, when multiple first information reports (FIR’s) were filed against them by investors in multiple regions of the country. Only a couple of months later, in March 2017, Amit was arrested in Bangkok.