Businessman Raj Kundra's Properties Worth Nearly Rs 100 Crore Seized

The attached properties on Raj Kundra include a residential flat located in Juhu, currently registered in the name of actress Shilpa Shetty.

Money laundering case: Raj Kundra is being probed in a bitcoin ponzi case.

New Delhi:

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has seized properties worth Rs. 97.79 crore belonging to Raj Kundra in probe linked to a Bitcoin Ponzi scam. Raj Kundra is the husband of Bollywood actor Shilpa Shetty.

The attached properties include a residential flat located in Juhu, currently registered in the name of Shilpa Shetty, a residential bungalow in Pune, and equity shares owned by Raj Kundra.

Both Raj Kundra and Shilpa Shetty have denied any involvement in the case.

"There is no prima facie case made out against my clients Mr Raj Kundra and Mrs Shilpa Shetty Kundra. I believe when we make our fair representation before the Honourable Enforcement Directorate, even the investigation agencies may grant justice to us. We have faith in the fair investigation," their lawyer Prashant Patil said.

A Ponzi scheme is a fraud where investors are promised huge profits at little or no risk. But the money is not invested. Instead, the conman focuses on luring more people and pays profits to the initial investors with funds from more recent ones.

The ED launched a probe based on multiple complaints filed by Maharashtra and Delhi Police against Variable Tech Private Limited, late Amit Bhardwaj, Ajay Bhardwaj, Vivek Bhardwaj, Simpy Bhardwaj, Mahender Bhardwaj and others.

The investigation alleges that the accused  collected approximately Rs 6,600 Crore in Bitcoins in 2017 by deceiving investors with promises of 10% monthly returns through Bitcoin investments. The promoters cheated the investors and have been concealing the ill gotten Bitcoins in obscure online wallets, the ED alleged.

During investigation, the probe agency learnt that Raj Kundra had received 285 Bitcoins from Amit Bhardwaj, the mastermind behind the 'Gain Bitcoin' Ponzi scheme. These Bitcoins were intended for establishing a Bitcoin mining farm in Ukraine. However, the deal did not materialize, leaving Mr Kundra in possession of the Bitcoins, currently valued at more than Rs 150 Crore.

Raj Kundra has been arrested in 2021 in a case involving production and distribution of pornographic films using a subscriber-driven mobile app called 'Hotshots'. He got bail in that case by the Supreme Court.