June 21, 2024

Crypto selling scam sees pastor collect $1.3m from investors

The Denver-based pastor, who runs an online-only church called Victorious Grace Church, allegedly sold worthless INDXcoin crypto, and made away with a huge chunk of the proceeds.

According to The Denver Post, citing a recently filed lawsuit, Eli Regalado — the creator and founder of INDXcoin and the Kingdom Wealth Exchange — is facing securities fraud charges.

The pastor allegedly defrauded online investors by promising that purchasing a coin would grant them “a miracle in very short order.”

“Just take that word as gospel truth and execute on that word, and do not worry about how the money’s going to happen. I really believe you’re going to see a miracle in very short order.”

Denver pastor Eli Regalado

Using sermons and enticing statements, Regalado told his online listeners that buying INDXcoin served as part of the preparations for entering “the kingdom,” where he promised that by diving into the crypto project, they would “have more money” than ever.

The exchange and crypto project were shut down in November 2023, with investors wondering what had transpired.

In the Denver District Court case filing, Tung Chan, the state’s securities commissioner, claimed that the Regalados had sold $3.4 million worth of “valueless” INDXcoins in 2022 and the first half of 2023.

At least $1.3 million of that, according to Chan, whose office subpoenaed the couple’s bank records, went directly to the Regalados. 

Chan believes the Regalados enticed devout Christians to make investments that would go to a good cause, like helping orphans and widows, but the payments were reverted to the church owners.

The couple allegedly used the funds to make extravagant purchases such as a Range Rover, jewelry, high-end purses, cosmetic dentistry, boat and snowmobile rentals, and house repairs.

Additionally, they sent about $290,000 to the church’s account, which has no physical location.

Before the project shutdown, INDXcoins sold for $1.50 a piece, with payments sent via wire transfer to Grace Led Marketing’s bank account or Eli Regalado’s Venmo account.

According to the complaint, investors were told that each INDXcoin was worth at least $10 and that 30 million of these currencies were in use, meaning the corporation should have had $300 million to support the coins.

After conducting investigations, state detectives discovered just $30,000.

The cryptocurrency was audited by Hacken, a cybersecurity firm, according to the INDXcoin website. The Regalados omitted the fact that Hacken gave the project a “0/10” rating, as revealed by state investigators who have copies of Hacken’s audits.

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