On Friday, the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Indian state of Odisha arrested another person in connection with a $120 million crypto Ponzi scheme.
Ratnakar Palai, 45, is reputedly a close aide and accomplice of Gurtej Singh Sidhu and Nirod Das. The latter were arrested on August 7. Police accuse all three of taking part in a large-scale crypto ponzi scheme involving Solar Techno Alliance (STA) Token.
The Group Allegedly Made $120 Million
Palai allegedly ran the social media and influencer arm of the STA scam. The accused fraudster formerly ran a YouTube channel where he promoted the illegal activity of the STA Token. Like many prolific crypto criminals, Palai billed himself as a successful entrepreneur and investment whiz.
Police consider STA Token as an example of a multi-level marketing, or Ponzi scheme, of which Palai was a high-level member. The 45-year-old reportedly had many downline members of the scheme collaborating with him across much of India.
As part of the operation, Palai and others would lure people through social media to invest in cryptocurrency. The existing members would then convince new investors to enroll others.
The incentives and bonuses would depend on how successful they were at recruiting new members. A scam as old as time itself.
Across India, the STA Token Scam Targeted 200,000 People
Across the country, collectively the scam had recruited 200,000 people and had amassed Rs 1,000 crore (or $120 million) from their alleged crimes.
Palai reportedly also headed his own investment and education venture called “Learn to Earn.” However, according to reports, Palai shut down all associated social media accounts after his associates, Gurtej and Nirod, were arrested.
Reports emerged this week that police had arrested a Dutch national in connection with the group. According to an August 15 Times of India story, EOW’s inspector general J N Pankaj said police were still trying to discover more about the individual in question.
The same report wrote that STA Token is attempting to relaunch under a different name to find new “investors.”
In adherence to the Trust Project guidelines, BeInCrypto is committed to unbiased, transparent reporting. This news article aims to provide accurate, timely information. However, readers are advised to verify facts independently and consult with a professional before making any decisions based on this content.