- Pluto Exchange principal nabbed for fraud
- How the scheme deceived people into investing
- 25 million Ruppes lost to the scam
Umesh Verma, Pluto Exchange principal, after pulling an exit scam back in September 2020, has been nabbed at Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi on Thursday.
The suspect, a 60-year-old alongside his son, Bharat, convinced unsuspecting people to invest in a scheme (Pluto Exchange) in 2017. Around 25 million ruppies was invested in the scheme back then.
Verma’s proposal to his victim was as juicy as every other scam story. His scheme issued a cryptocurrency dubbed Coin Zarus in exchange for investments. When it launched in 2017, shortly after returns stopped coming in, he (Verma) disappeared and resurfaced a year after in Dubai.
How Pluto Exchange promised investors high returns
The scheme promised investors massive returns while it was in operation. Verma told investors that 20 – 30 percent returns was assured monthly on every investment. It is a common format scammers use to lure investors.
According to the police, the scheme issued units of a cryptocurrency called Coin Zarus in return for investments, assuring investors that the value of these units would increase manifold.
Pluto Exchange also claimed to be involved in crypto trading and mining via ‘F2poolminin.’
The scheme adopted the multi-level-marketing format, also asking investors to introduce more people for higher reward.’ It eventually turned out to be fake as Verma failed to deliver on his promise.
Back then, he blamed Bitcoin‘s plunge as the reason he hasn’t paid out the rewards as promised.
He was arrested after a case of misappropriation of funds was filed against him by the Delhi police. It led to his arrest on 31st December 2020. Verma had a case with the police in 2017, leading to his first arrest. However, that was over an unrelated gold smuggling case and not related to cryptocurrencies.
In India, local report claimed that Verma also launched the first mobile app for crypto in India with claims that users can buy, sell, and store BTC with only their phone number.