Bitcoin scam: Sriki lured Bengaluru doctor

Bitcoin scam: Sriki lured Bengaluru doctor with high returns promise

Hacker Srikrishna Ramesh alias Sriki used Bitcoin as a lure to cheat a city-based pediatrician Dr Yashoda Devi, documents show.

After convincing the doctor to invest in cryptocurrency through her elder son Raunak Patil - whom Sriki was friends with - the hacker made away with Rs 28 lakh for which he had promised huge returns.

Although the cheating incident occurred in August 2019, around the time he allegedly hacked the government’s e-procurement portal, a complaint was filed only after his arrest in November 2020.

Charge sheet of the case alleges that he also threatened the doctor using unknown numbers, when she insisted that he return the money.  

According to Sriki’s statement in the charge sheet, he stayed at Raunak’s house on several occasions. In June 2019, Yashoda had sold a property and was looking to invest the money. Sriki along with another accused Robin Khandelwal got wind of the same and urged Raunak to convince his mother to invest in Bitcoins. 

Yashoda agreed after the duo promised returns of Rs 17 lakh in addition to Rs 28 lakh within a month. The doctor then transferred the money to Robin, who shared his “mentally unstable” uncle’s account for the transfer, says the charge sheet.

Soon after, Sriki transferred around Rs 20 lakh of the Rs 28 lakh to different accounts, and used the remainder to pay hotel and restaurant bills. 

“A month later, I learnt that Sriki along with Robin have hacked a Bitcoin website and transferred those Bitcoins to their accounts. I also realised that Sriki was involved in hacking other websites,” the doctor said in her statement to the police.

Subsequently, she demanded that Sriki return the money to which he sought two more months. However, the assurance remained unfulfilled after which Yashoda approached Sriki’s parents. “The parents, who were aware of the transactions, initially agreed to return the money out of moral obligations, but later backtracked on their promise,” Yashoda said.

Almost a year later, she filed a complaint at Ashok Nagar police station, a day after Sriki was arrested by the city police. 

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