February 29, 2024

Pastor’s Dad Charged with Fraud in Crypto Scam

In an unexpected turn in the investigation into a $3.4 million cryptocurrency fraud that leveraged religious faith for financial gain, the Colorado Division of Securities has expanded its civil fraud investigation to the father of pastor Eli Regalado, Eligio P. Regalado Sr.

Regalado Jr., a Denver pastor, found himself at the center of a legal battle last month following charges of civil fraud related to a cryptocurrency scheme, INDXcoin, that he and his wife, Kaitlyn, marketed to their Christian community.

The Colorado Division of Securities’ amended complaint filed Thursday of last week brings into focus 12 new defendants, including Regalado’s father who is charged with violating the anti-fraud, licensing and registration provisions of the Colorado Securities Act, further entangling the case in family ties and religious exploitation.

With allegations of unlicensed securities sales and deceptive promises of exponential investment growth, the expanded legal action deepens the probe into a scheme that preyed on the Christian community.

Newsweek has confirmed that, while civil investigations intensify, no criminal charges have been filed yet.

The Allegations

The expanded investigation into the $3.4 million cryptocurrency scam, orchestrated under the guise of religious faith, has broadened its scope with the Colorado Division of Securities amending its complaint to encompass 12 additional defendants.

The amendment implicates Regalado Sr. and other family members, delineating a familial involvement in the scheme. The allegations against Regalado Sr. mirror those against his son, asserting that he misled investors with promises of substantial returns on investments in INDXcoin that never materialized. Those actions, alongside the actions of the other defendants, are said to have violated the anti-fraud, licensing, and registration mandates of the Colorado Securities Act.

The complaint alleges that between January 2022 and July 2023, individuals acting without licenses Regalado Sr., Daniel Applegate (brother-in-law of Eli Regalado, Jr.), Jesse Buccholz (former brother-in-law of Eli Regalado, Jr.), Nathanael Enos, Eternal Realities, Erin Giles, Jesse Duplantis, Erik Skeldon, Tri Vision Global, Blacktribe, Johnny Daughtry and Sheri Erbaugh helped bring in the $3.4 million of outside investments into INDXCoin that was later deemed worthless while misleading investors into believing that an investment in the cryptocurrency would grow while earning over $412,975 in commissions from which the newly named defendants profited.

“We allege that Mr. Regalado peddled an essentially worthless cryptocurrency to enrich himself at the expense of his own Christian communities, and his father and many others were involved,” Colorado Securities Commissioner Tung Chan said in a statement shared with Newsweek.

The Colorado Division of Securities alleges that Regalado Sr. was paid $25,000 in commissions for bringing in new investments into INDXCoin. The state said that Buccholz was paid upwards of $27,000, while $15,500 went to Applegate.

The Background

The couple allegedly sold millions in the scheme, promising divine financial returns to the religious community. They’re accused of raising about $3.4 million through INDXcoin which ultimately left roughly 300 investors with worthless coins.

Despite the civil charges filed, Eli continued promoting financial prosperity and cryptocurrency in Zambia, Africa, after missing a crucial court hearing in Colorado. The lawsuit alleges that the Regalados misappropriated over $1.3 million for personal expenses, which Eli confirmed in a widely circulated video.

The couple’s lack of experience in cryptocurrency led to a flawed INDXcoin, the Colorado Division of Securities said, contributing to the scheme’s collapse. As mentioned before, while no criminal charges have been filed, the Colorado District Attorney’s office told Newsweek that it is “currently investigating this case,” noting that it was “all [they] can say at this time.”

In this photo illustration, a visual representation of the digital Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin in front of a Bitcoin chart is displayed. The Colorado Division of Securities has expanded its INDXCoin civil fraud investigation to the father…

Chesnot/Getty Images