Eli Regalado, a pastor residing in the United States, claims God told him to steal $1.3 million from his church members in a cryptocurrency scam.
Eli and his wife, Kaitlyn, are accused of breaking Colorado’s anti-fraud, licencing, and registration rules after creating and selling “INDXcoin,” a cryptocurrency, to Christians in the state.
According to a recent press statement from the state’s securities office, the couple allegedly informed potential investors that the Lord had told them that if they invested, they would become wealthy.
However, prosecutors claimed that INDXcoin was “practically worthless” in reality. Investors lost millions of dollars as the Regalados lived lavishly.
In a video statement posted on INDXcoin website, Eli admitted that the pair squandered $1.3 million raised through cryptocurrency.
“The charges are that me and Kaitlyn pocketed $1.3m. I just wanted to come out and say those charges are true.
A few hundred thousand dollars went to a home remodel the Lord told us to do. We took God at his word and sold a cryptocurrency with no clear exit,” he said.
Regalado further stated that the pair continues to hope that God would “work a miracle in the financial sector”.
INDXcoin raised around $3.2 million from over 300 individuals between June 2022 and April 2023. The Regalados spent at least $1.3 million, or more than half, on personal luxury items including jewellery, an au pair, and a large home repair project.
The Regalados also raised at least $290,000 for their online-only church, Victorious Grace Church, which has no physical location.
The Regalados also have no experience with cryptocurrency. A third-party auditor discovered major technical flaws with the INDXcoin code, yet the Regalados continued to promote the cryptocurrency as a low-risk, high-reward alternative.