Denver Pastor Accused of Misappropriating $1.3 Million Raised via a Crypto Token Sale
The Colorado Securities regulator has accused the pastor of an online-only church of illegally pocketing $1.3 million which was raised via the sale of a cryptocurrency he created. A judge in Colorado has since ordered the closure of the pastor and his wife’s bank accounts for 14 days.
‘The Lord Brought This Cryptocurrency to Me’
The securities regulator in Colorado has charged Reverend Eli Regalado, creator of the cryptocurrency INDX coin and pastor of the online-only Victorious Grace Church, with selling “worthless” INDX coins for $3.4 million sometime in 2022 and during the first half of 2023. Tung Chan, Colorado’s securities commissioner, filed a lawsuit on Jan. 16, accusing Regalado of ensuring that investors in his coin did not recoup their investment.
According to a report by the Denver Post, Regalado pocketed $1.3 million from the token sales, which he spent on a Range Rover, jewelry, luxury handbags, cosmetic dentistry, and boat rentals.
The lawsuit suggests that Regalado used his position as a religious leader to convince his followers to invest in cryptocurrency. For instance, in one sermon on Aug. 22, 2022, Regalado told his followers that his lord had instructed him to create the now-defunct crypto asset.
“It was last October that the Lord brought this cryptocurrency to me. He said, ‘Take this to my people for a wealth transfer.’ It has been confirmed a hundred times since,” Regalado reportedly said.
INDX Coins ‘Technologically Deficient’
Additionally, in what may have been an attempt to dissuade investors from offloading their holdings, Regalado claimed that the Lord had asked his followers to “stay in INDX coins.”
However, in her lawsuit, Chan accused Regalado and his wife Kaitlyn Regalado of falsely claiming that the INDX coins were worth at least $10 each or $300 million for the 30 million coins. Chan also described the cryptocurrency and the only marketplace where INDX coins were traded as being “catastrophically technologically deficient.”
Following the filing of the lawsuit, U.S. Judge David Goldberg ordered the Regalados’ bank accounts and those of associated companies to be closed for 14 days. Additionally, the judge prohibited the Regalados from selling securities in Colorado.
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