A pastor and his wife from Colorado are accused of tricking many local Christians in a big cryptocurrency scam.
The pastor Eli Regalado and his wife Kaitlyn are accused of tricking people and making more than $3 million by selling cryptocurrency that is not worth much.
The Regalados are accused of making at least $1. 3 million from their plan between June 2022 and April 2023, according to prosecutors.
Mr Regalado said that his idea came from God, as said in court documents.
The pastor claimed that God told him that people who invest in INDXcoin, a cryptocurrency created by the Regalados, would become rich.
The Regalados, who are in charge of the Kingdom Wealth Exchange, gave INDXcoin to Christians in the Denver area.
The couple didn’t know about cryptocurrency. An auditor found INDXcoin to be unsafe, unsecure, and full of technical problems.
“Even though there was a report about it, the Regalados kept telling people that INDXcoin was a safe and profitable investment,” the report said.
The INDXcoin was not easy to turn into cash and was almost worth nothing. The couple spent the money on their extravagant way of living.
Officials said they found a Range Rover, fancy purses, jewelry, rented boats and snowmobile trips.
Colorado’s top financial regulator, Tung Chan, has accused someone of breaking the law by lying or cheating to investors.
She said her department found out about the problem because many people who invested in INDXcoin complained about losing money.
Mr Relagado talked about the accusations in a video he posted on Friday.
Colorado is saying it’s worthless because people who bought cryptocurrency can’t take their money out.
We started a market where people can trade things. The trade system broke down. Things got worse, and since then, we’ve only been hoping for a miracle from the Lord.
The pastor admitted that it was true that Mr. Relagado and his wife received $1. 3 million
“He said that out of the $1. 3 million, half of it went to the IRS and $200,000 went towards renovating our home, as the Lord had told us to do. ”
Lots of people wrote nice things in the comments on the video, like “sending prayers” and “keep going, be strong”.
The BBC has asked the Regalados for their thoughts or opinions.
In the complaint, Colorado prosecutors want to get temporary help, money for investors, and control of the Relagados’ property.
They have to go to Denver District Court next week.