Pastor accused of cryptocurrency fraud says God told him to do it

Pastor accused of cryptocurrency fraud says God told him to do it

A pastor in Denver who said God told him to sell a cryptocurrency that couldn’t be redeemed is facing civil charges with his wife for marketing a digital coin that prosecutors described as “practical “Formally worthless” and used the proceeds to support a “grandeur”. lifestyle.”

The pastor, Eligio Regalado, and his wife, Caitlin Regalado, were charged Thursday in a civil complaint filed in Denver District Court by the Colorado Division of Securities, Office of the Colorado Attorney General. said in a statement, The agency said the couple created, marketed and sold a cryptocurrency they called INDXcoin through a cryptocurrency exchange they also ran.

Prosecutors said the couple, who had no experience with cryptocurrency exchanges, marketed INDXcoin to Christians in Denver, and raised about $3.2 million from more than 300 people who bought it from June 2022 to April 2023. Mr. Regalado and his wife then used the money for themselves, the Colorado Division of Securities said.

Mr. Regalado and Ms. Regalado did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday. It was not clear whether he had a lawyer.

In A video addressing the complaint Last week, Mr. Regalado said he did not want investors to be “mad” at prosecutors.

“They have to do that,” he said. “I mean, if you think about it: We sold a cryptocurrency that had no obvious exit. Sold the exited cryptocurrency.

Mr Regalado said investors were unable to withdraw their money due to problems at cryptocurrency exchanges.

Mr. Regalado also said in the video that he got into the cryptocurrency business because “God” told him to do so. He said that God once came to him in a dream and asked him to do so, and he admitted that he and his wife spent the money “to rebuild a house that God told us to do”. Did.

Mr. Regalado said he was still hopeful that investors could get their money back, and that he believed “God is going to work miracles in the financial sector.”

Colorado Division of Securities Commissioner Tung Chan said in a statement that “Mr. Regalado took advantage of the trust and confidence of his own Christian community.

“He made them outlandish promises of wealth while he sold them essentially worthless cryptocurrencies,” Ms Chan said.

The Colorado Attorney General’s Office declined to comment, citing the ongoing litigation.

According to records, Mr. Regalado led the Victorious Grace Church. A church website had been taken down by Tuesday. Mr. Regalado also said in the video that in 2021 “God” asked him and his wife to step away from the marketing company they were running to start a “new thing.”

Mr. Regalado said that of the more than $3 million the couple raised through INDXcoin, he and his wife spent about $1.4 million. About $500,000 of the money went to the Internal Revenue Service, and “a few million dollars” went into rebuilding the house.

About nine months ago, Mr. Regalado said, the venture “began to fall apart,” adding that he had no idea what he was doing.

“One of two things has happened,” Mr. Regalado said, “one: Either I misheard God and every one of you who came in praying misheard you, too, or two: God still This project is not completed and he is going to do a new work.”

Prosecutors said they are seeking damages to help compensate investors for their losses. Mr. Regalado said in the video that the couple planned to argue their case, and that their “goal” was to get some of the money back to investors.

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