Satish Kumbhani, the founder of BitConnect, has fled India, according to an SEC filing. This person of interest to Indian authorities became apparent in the second half of 2018. At the time, Kumbhani was linked to an extortion scheme worth $22.7 million.
Indian authorities were able to make arrests, but Kumbhani fled the country in late 2017 and has been at large ever since. Divyesh Darji, a co-conspirator of Kumbhani’s, was apprehended three months later. Due to this information coming to light, it was discovered that Kumbhani was originally hiding out in South Korea, but had since relocated to Dubai. Here, things start to get a little murky.
Kumbhani was arrested in Gujurat, India, sometime in the first half of 2019. According to local media, the FBI sent agents to question Kumbhani in mid-2019. Indian authorities appear to have released Kumbhani at some point rather than making the case against him stick. Kumbhani, of course, evaded capture once more. The SEC filed a lawsuit against BitConnect, Kumbhani, and Glenn Arcaro in September of that year.
That lawsuit will only stand if the SEC serves Kumbhani. The SEC filed a letter motion on November 16th, requesting an extension of the deadline for Kumbhani to be served. Kumbhani, the alleged founder and manager of BitConnect, was not known to the Commission when it filed this action, according to the Complaint.
As of October 2021, the Commission’s staff learned that Kumbhani had likely relocated from India to an unspecified location outside of India. That country’s financial regulators have been asked to assist the Commission in locating Kumbhani, so that the Commission can serve him and BitConnect via him.
No such address has been provided to the Commission yet, and we have no way of knowing when one will be. A 90-day deadline for serving US-based defendants prompted the SEC’s filing of the motion. On the off chance that Kumbhani is in the United States, the extension request was made. The SEC says it cannot rule out the possibility that Kumbhani is in the United States.
Between the United States and Dubai, or some other secret location, I’d be surprised if Kumbhani was in the United States. That Dubai authorities are refusing to cooperate with the investigation makes sense, too, if Kumbhani is there.
Dubai is a haven for scammers due to regulatory non-cooperation, a lack of extradition treaties, and a lack of local regulation of securities fraud. Keep in mind that no one knows where Kumbhani is and hasn’t since 2017. The SEC does not reveal where they believe he has fled to. However, the DOJ’s criminal case against BitConnect US executive Glenn Arcaro supports Kumbhani’s escape to Dubai. In the event that Arcaro is indicted, it is highly probable that Kumbhani is also under investigation. However, Kumbhani’s arrest is required before the indictment can be unsealed. As a result, he’s probably living in a country that doesn’t cooperate with the United States. In the UAE, Dubai isn’t the only option, but it’s one of the best ones available. It was granted by the SEC on November 17th, giving the SEC until February 28th to carry out service on its request for extension. That deadline doesn’t apply if Kumbhani is outside the United States.