An online pastor was charged with civil fraud for selling a cryptocurrency which regulators described as “virtually worthless.” His explanation: God told him to do it, although it is possible that he “heard wrong.”
The securities commissioner of Colorado filed a legal complaint against Eligio Regaladowho calls himself eliand his wife, Kaitlyn Regalado, last week. The couple raised almost USD 3.2 million by targeting the Christian community of Denver with the cryptocurrencymarketed as INDXcoin, according to the complaint.
Investigators accused the couple of violating the laws of Colorado anti-fraud, licensing and registration. They alleged that the cryptocurrency was promoted as a “low-risk, high-profit investment” while in reality it was “illiquid and virtually worthless.” The cryptocurrency It can usually be converted into cash or other currencies through a digital platform or exchange.
“The Lord said, ‘I want you to build this,’” Regalado said. “We took God at his word and sold a cryptocurrency with no clear exit,” he added.
“We allege that Mr. Regalado took advantage of the trust and faith of his own Christian community and sold them extravagant promises of wealth when he sold them essentially worthless cryptocurrencies,” said Colorado Securities Commissioner, Tung Chanit’s a statement.
The filing alleged that while investors lost millions of dollars, the Regalado couple used the funds to maintain their “lavish lifestyle.” Besides, sold the digital asset to more than 300 investors between June 2022 and April 2023the statement added.
In the video message, Regalado confirmed that he and his wife made $1.3 million from the sale of the cryptocurrency, of which they spent “a few hundred thousand dollars” on “a remodel of the house that the Lord told us to do.” we would do.”
“Or I heard God wrong, and each of you who prayed and entered – you too. Or two, God is not done with this project yet,” Regalado said.
Despite having no previous experience in trading cryptocurrenciesRegalado said he was inspired to sell INDXcoin because “God is in the business of making new things and breaking seals. And he told us to do this.”
“I said, ‘Lord, I don’t want to do this. I do not know how to do it. I have no experience in this industry. I don’t know what I’m doing. “I don’t want to get caught up in something,” he expressed.
Investors who bought INDXcoin They were unable to subsequently convert the cryptocurrency into cash due to technical glitches, according to Regalado. “We launched an exchange. The exchange technology failed. “Things went downhill,” the pastor said. “I know this seems terrible,” he added.
In a November post in which he announced that the network and the exchange of the cryptocurrency They were going to remain offline “for the time being,” Regalado said the failure of the scheme had taken a toll on his mental health.
He suggested investors “stop being dominated by Mammon (chasing money)” and “remove all negative chatter from the community,” which he complained was being inundated with negative comments.
The Colorado Securities Commissioner’s statement said the Regalados “had no experience in cryptocurrencies,” something that became evident when “a third-party auditor’s report purportedly described their code.” INDXcoin as unsafe, unsafe and plagued by serious technical problems.”
“New coins and new exchanges are easy to create with open source code. We want to remind consumers to be very skeptical,” Chan said.
Leo Sands is a breaking news reporter and editor of the Washington Post’s London Hub, covering news as it develops around the world.