BitConnect getting squeezed (via Shutterstock).
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Police hunting BitConnect promoter over alleged crypto scam

Indian authorities say Divyesh Darji is wanted for a regalcoin scam

BitConnect promoter Divyesh Darji is being sought by police in India after allegedly getting involved in a trio of cryptocurrency scams.

BitConnect shuttered after receiving several cease-and-desist orders from securities regulators in Texas and North Carolina. Several high-profile members of the cryptocurrency community, including cryptocurrency bank Galaxy Digital’s Mike Novogratz and Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin said it “really seems like a scam.”

The currency was also mercilessly mocked by John Oliver on Last Week Tonight’s March 2018 cryptocurrency episode. The episode, which has 9.7 million views on YouTube, also took aim at Bitcoin.

The most recent charges accuse Darji of promising investors in a cryptocurrency called regalcoin (REC) a 5,000% return on their investment in 99 days, according to the Times of India. The action took place in September 2017.

Police from the state of Gujarat say he promised better returns than bitcoin, with $100 returned for every $2 invested in regalcoin, which launched in early October. According to CoinMarketCap, regalcoin nearly reached that number in that timeframe, maxing out at $97.85 on October 28, 2017. It quickly tanked, falling to $5.44 by the end of the year.

“Darji had promised that the investor would get the principal amount in 99 days,” a Criminal Investigation Depart (CID) official said. “He had also promised to give interest on principal amount as per robotic trading profit along with 1% to 1.6% bonus as referral bonus at every 11 days.”

Three investors have charged they lost a total of nearly $65,000 after buying regalcoin from Darji’s daughter Dimki and an aide, Ramdayal Purohit. Police allege the promoters shut the company after making off with nearly $650,000. Only Purohit has been arrested.

Police added that Darji has been charged in a separate bitcoin scam, and that “his name also surfaced” in an alleged scam using dekado (DKD) coin.

Leo Jakobson, Modern Consensus senior editor, is a New York-based journalist who has spent much of the last 15 years covering the employee engagement and recognition business. Before that he covered the East Coast side of the Internet boom and bust, and wrote about politics in New York City. Disclosure: Jakobson owns no cryptocurrencies.