A U.S. pastor and his wife are facing legal scrutiny after allegedly duping their congregation into investing in a worthless cryptocurrency, pocketing $1.3 million for personal use, including a home remodel.
Eli Regalado and Kaitlyn Regalado, who run an online church, are now subjects of a civil lawsuit filed by the Colorado Attorney General’s Office.
According to the complaint, the couple promoted the so-called INDXcoin to fellow Christians in Colorado, assuring investors that God supported the venture and that it would bring them wealth.
The lawsuit reveals that approximately 300 people invested a total of $3.2 million into the cryptocurrency, despite the Regalados lacking any experience in the cryptocurrency field, as disclosed by the Colorado Division of Securities.
Facing allegations of fraud, Eli Regalado defended his actions in a video posted to a forum for INDXcoin investors, asserting that the charges of pocketing $1.3 million were accurate.
He claimed that half a million dollars went to the IRS, and a significant portion was used for a home remodel, both of which he attributed to divine instructions.
In addition to the home remodel, the couple is accused of spending funds on luxury items such as a Range Rover, jewelry, high-end handbags, and snowmobile trips. The legal action, filed in Denver last week, details the lavish expenditures made with the investors’ money.
While acknowledging the charges, Regalado maintained that they acted based on what they believed were divine instructions.
He suggested that there might have been communication issues on his “hotline to God” but expressed hope for a miraculous intervention, stating, “Either I misheard God… or God is still not done with this project.”
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