By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, December 23, 2023: A court in Odisha on Saturday sentenced Prince Kumar alias Shiv Narayan Singh of Bihar’s Muzaffarpur to 7 years of imprisonment on charges of duping hundreds of investors in Odisha by claiming that he was running Indian versions of WhatsApp, YouTube, Amazon, Netflix, digital gaming and digital payment platforms.

The court of Odisha Protection of Interest of Depositors in Balasore district also imposed a penalty of ₹3.33 lakh for duping hundreds of investors of around Rs.1.5 crore (in Odisha alone) by giving false assurances of high returns under its different schemes involving various digital/online products.

The court sentenced Prince Kumar under sections 406/ 420/467/468/471/120-B of IPC, Sec.66 of IT Act, Sec. 4/5/6 of Prize Chits & Money Circulation Scheme (Banning) Act & Section 6 of Odisha Protection of Interests of Depositors Act. In the event of non-payment of penalty, he would have to undergo one more years of imprisonment.

The company advertised its business as “Your Own Digital Revolution Marketing” through which one can earn huge income in a very short period from home by using the mobile applications of this company. It used popular slogans such as “Ghar baithe hi desh ka digital use kar ke shandar income le sakte ho”.

Prince Kumar gave false assurances to the investors that investment amount would be double within one year although the company had no real business activity to generate returns. EOW officials said the deposits collected by Prince Kumar under the cover of Direct Digital Marketing was nothing but an elaborate Ponzi scheme.

The business model of Digital Revolution Technologies Limited is a simple pyramid structure in which the early entrants earn money and as the number of investors/depositors increases, finding more investors to join becomes difficult or impossible and the scheme collapses at a point of time. Investors who joined late do not earn enough to cover their first outlay.

It was the first ever conviction in online/ digital Ponzi cases in Odisha and one of the firsts in India.

EOW officials said the total invested money would be far higher as the victims are spread in Maharashtra, Bihar, UP and Delhi,

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