News

God told me to do it, says US pastor who pocketed investors' $1.3 million

By AFP

January 24, 2024 11:40 AM


Pastor Eli Regalado and his wife.

Twitter Share Facebook Share WhatsApp Share

A US pastor who sold a worthless cryptocurrency to his flock and pocketed $1.3 million, using some of it to remodel his house, has insisted he was only doing what God told him.

Eli Regalado and his wife, Kaitlyn, face a civil lawsuit alleging they flogged the so-called INDXcoin to fellow Christians in Colorado, with divine guarantees investors would become rich.

According to the complaint filed by the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, investigators found 300 people sank $3.2 million into something Regalado and his wife insisted God was backing

That was despite the fact that the couple, who run an online church, had no experience in cryptocurrency, said a press release from the Colorado Division of Securities, the state body that regulates the securities market.

Faced with the fraud allegations, Regalado doubled down on his message of a God-given mission, and even confessed to using the cash for some home improvements -- which he said was also an instruction from above.

"So the charges are that Kaitlyn and I have pocketed $1.3 million, and I just want to come out and say that those charges are true," he said in a video posted to a forum for INDXcoin investors.

"Out of that 1.3, half a million dollars went to the IRS and a few $100,000 went to a home remodel that the Lord told us to do."

The couple allegedly also spent funds on a gamut of luxury items, including a Range Rover, jewelry, swanky handbags and snowmobile trips, the complaint states.

Facing the legal action, which was filed in Denver last week, Regalado conceded it was possible there had been some communication issues on his hotline to God, though he was still holding out hope that the Big Man would come through in the end.

"We took God at his word and sold a cryptocurrency with no clear exit," he said.

"Either I misheard God... or God is still not done with this project," he said.

"What we're praying for... is that God is going to work a miracle in the financial sector. He is going to bring a miracle into INDXcoin."

Colorado Securities Commissioner Tung Chan said potential investors in get-rich quick schemes would be wise not to take them at face value.

"We allege that Mr. Regalado took advantage of the trust and faith of his own Christian community and that he peddled outlandish promises of wealth to them when he sold them essentially worthless cryptocurrencies," Chan said.

"New coins and new exchanges are easy to create with open source code.  We want to remind consumers to be very skeptical."

NBC News reported that the couple are due to appear in a Denver court next week.


AFP


Most Read

  1. Public Holiday announced in Lahore tomorrow Public Holiday announced in Lahore tomorrow
  2. Nazish Jahangir to hit any marriage proposal from Babar Azam out of the ground Nazish Jahangir to hit any marriage proposal from Babar Azam out of the ground
  3. Iranian First Lady visits Numl Iranian First Lady visits Numl
  4. Pakistan, Iran sign raft of accords to bolster bilateral cooperation Pakistan, Iran sign raft of accords to bolster bilateral cooperation
  5. Two patients die, injuries of 12 others multiplied after roof collapse at Gujrat hospital Two patients die, injuries of 12 others multiplied after roof collapse at Gujrat hospital
  6. Police fail to nail woman who ran car over Motorway cop more than 100 days ago Police fail to nail woman who ran car over Motorway cop more than 100 days ago

Opinion

  1. Islamabad becoming the hub of international diplomacy
    Islamabad becoming the hub of international diplomacy

    By Salim Bokhari

  2. Insights into the Pakistan Stock Exchange's Recent Record High Triumph
    Insights into the Pakistan Stock Exchange's Recent Record High Triumph

    By Zulfiqar Ali Mir

  3. IMEC to sabotage CPEC
    IMEC to sabotage CPEC

    By Dr Asif Channer

  4. 1947 TO FORM 47
    1947 TO FORM 47

    By Dr Asif Channer

  5. Beijing wants to further highlight industrial sector in its country and take scientific innovation to new heights....
    Beijing wants to further highlight industrial sector in its country and take scientific innovation to new heights....

    By Ali Ramay

  6. Global race: China will reduce its unnecessary expenses
    Global race: China will reduce its unnecessary expenses

    By Ali Ramay