As reported by NBC News, Eli Regalado, a Colorado pastor associated with an online church, is embroiled in allegations of defrauding investors in a cryptocurrency scheme, claiming that the Lord instructed him in these actions. Regalado and his wife are accused of misappropriating $1.3 million from the funds raised through their cryptocurrency, INDXcoin, as per the Colorado Division of Securities.
The couple allegedly marketed INDXcoin to Christian communities in Denver, promising investors that God had assured wealth accumulation through investment in their cryptocurrency. The Regalados raised nearly $3.2 million, with a significant portion allegedly used for personal expenses including home renovations, luxury vehicles, and extravagant leisure activities.
Eli Regalado, in a video statement to his followers, admitted to the allegations, stating, “Out of the $1.3 [million], half a million dollars went to the IRS, and a few hundred thousand dollars went to a home remodel the Lord told us to do.”
The cryptocurrency, INDXcoin, was touted as a low-risk, high-profit investment, linked to the value of top cryptocurrencies. However, the Securities Division deemed it “illiquid and practically worthless,” with the Regalados’ platform, Kingdom Wealth Exchange, now defunct and INDXcoin unsellable.
Regalado’s faith-based marketing strategy for INDXcoin involved presentations at various churches, leveraging his religious influence to persuade investors. The legal complaint alleges that the funds raised were primarily diverted for personal use, despite promises of charitable contributions.
Colorado Securities Commissioner Tung Chan, who filed the civil fraud charges, expressed dismay at Regalado’s exploitation of faith for financial gain. “It’s really heartbreaking for the people who trusted him,” Chan said.
Regalado and his wife, along with their three companies, face multiple charges including securities fraud and unlicensed broker-dealer activity. They are scheduled for a court appearance in Denver District Court next week.
The Colorado Division of Securities continues to investigate the matter and has urged other investors involved with INDXcoin to come forward.