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Bitcoin Ponzi Scam Latest To Mire Raj Kundra, Shilpa Shetty Since 2013


Out of one controversy, and into another – that’s how life has been for actor Shilpa Shetty and her businessman husband Raj Kundra for over a decade.

Released on bail, in a 2021 case of allegedly producing and distributing porn films using a subscriber-driven mobile app called ‘HotShots’, Raj Kundra now finds himself mired in a bitcoin ponzi investment scam, following investigations into which the much in news Enforcement Directorate (ED) Mumbai has provisionally attached the immovable and movable properties linked to the power couple in Mumbai and Pune valued at Rs 97.79 core under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

After the development, the couple shared a joint statement through their lawyer, Prashant Patil, on Thursday stating: “We shall follow the due process of law and take necessary steps as prescribed under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act to protect the liberty and property of my clients. On the face of it, there is no prima facie case made out against my clients Mr Raj Kundra and Mrs Shilpa Shetty Kundra.”

The statement added, “We have complete faith in the Honourable Judiciary. 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 a fair investigation. We stand committed to cooperating with the authorities as and when required.”

However later, Kundra took to his Instagram and shared a couple of cryptic posts on his Stories at two different times on Thursday night and Friday afternoon, which have widely been interpreted as his response to the ED’s allegations.

Bitcoin Ponzi Scam Latest To Mire Raj Kundra, Shilpa Shetty Since 2013, Lifeinchd
Raj Kundra’s Instagram Story

In his first Story, he shared the image of a roaring lion with the text splashed across it reading thus: “Learning to stay calm when you feel disrespected is a different type of growth.”

The second Story carried a black and white image of a little girl standing alone amidst rows of flowers in a park with the text: “There is a time to be a nice person. And there’s a time to say enough is enough.”

According to the ED, Kundra’s name has come up in a Bitcoin scam. He allegedly holds Bitcoins worth Rs 150 crore.

According to a Economic Times report, the money laundering case has emerged from multiple FIRs registered by the Maharashtra Police and Delhi Police on the basis of complaints by investors against a company named Variable Tech Pte Ltd, Late Amit Bhardwaj, Ajay Bhardwaj, Vivek Bhardwaj, Simpy Bhardwaj, Mahender Bhardwaj and number of agents.

It was alleged in the FIRs that they had collected huge amounts of funds in Bitcoin investments (worth Rs 6,600 crore in 2017) from gullible public with the promise of 10 per cent per month return in crypto assets.

The probe agency claims that the promoters cheated the investors, and have been concealing the ill gotten Bitcoins in obscure online wallets. Kundra received 285 Bitcoins from the mastermind and promoter of Gain Bitcoin Ponzi scam Amit Bhardwaj for setting up Bitcoin mining farm in Ukraine, the ED says.

The deal, however, did not materialise, but Kundra is still in possession of 285 Bitcoins which are presently valued at more than Rs 150 crore, the ED maintains.

Other controversies involving Raj-Shilpa

Earlier, in 2021, Kundra was arrested by the Mumbai Police after four women complained that they were forced to shoot pornographic content after being promised an acting job in web series. He was released on bail two months later and an application filed by him seeking discharge in the case is reportedly pending before the trial court.

Also in 2021, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) had imposed a penalty of Rs 3 lakhs on Viaan Industries, and its promoters Shilpa Shetty and Raj Kundra, after finding them guilty of not complying with its regulations in insider trading.

The same year Shilpa Shetty and her mother Sunanda Shetty were investigated by the Lucknow police in an alleged fraud involving money taken for opening a branch of a spa and wellness chain and not fulfilling the promise. The chairperson of the spa and wellness chain later clarified that Shilpa Shetty and her mother Sunanda Shetty had no connection with the chain and that they had amicably parted ways long ago.

In 2013, while being a co-owner of Indian Premier League (IPL) franchisee Rajasthan Royals, Kundra’s name was linked to a betting scam involving IPL matches, which led to a ban on him from cricket for life.

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