UNITED STATES NEWS

Pastor accused of defrauding investors of $3M via crypto scheme says he got help from ‘the Lord’

Jan 23, 2024, 4:48 PM

DENVER (AP) — A Colorado pastor for an online church who is accused of defrauding investors of more than $3.2 million through a cryptocurrency marketplace he ran with his wife says “the Lord” helped him orchestrate the venture.

Colorado’s securities commissioner filed civil fraud charges against Eli Regalado and his wife Kaitlyn Regalado, saying the Denver couple targeted the Christian community and told followers that God would make them rich if they invested in a cryptocurrency he created called INDXcoin.

Investigators with the Colorado Division of Securities found that from June 2022 to April 2023, INDXcoin raised about $3.2 million from more than 300 people who invested in the “illiquid” and “essentially worthless” currency, according to the complaint filed Jan. 16.

Investigators said the Regalados, who ran a cryptocurrency marketplace called the Kingdom Wealth Exchange, used at least $1.3 million of those funds to support a lavish lifestyle that included tens of thousands of dollars spent on vacations, jewelry, luxury handbags, cosmetic dentistry, clothes and home renovations. The two, who shut down the exchange Nov. 1, also are accused of using some of the money to finance the purchase of a Range Rover.

Eli Regalado did not respond to an email seeking comment Tuesday, but In a video statement to his followers last week, he said the charges that he and his wife pocketed the money “are true.”

“Out of that $1.3 (million), half a million dollars went to the IRS, and a few hundred thousand dollars went to a home remodel that the Lord told us to do,” he said in the video, noting that God appeared to him in a dream and gave him advice on how to run the cryptocurrency exchange.

“What we’re praying for, and what we’re believing for still is that God is going to do a miracle,” he added. “God is going to work a miracle in the financial sector. He’s going to bring a miracle into INDXcoin. Everyone that has come in for money is going to be able to receive money back,” said Regalado, who preaches for the online-only Victorious Grace Church.

The church, which counts the Regalados as its only two employees, is operated from the couple’s house, their recreational vehicle and their vacation destinations, according to investigators.

The Regalados’ presentations to fellow pastors and evangelical Christians promoting INDXcoin were dominated by prayer and quotes from the Bible that encouraged potential investors to have faith that the cryptocurrency would lead to “abundance” and “blessings,” investigators said.

In an August 2022 update video for his investors and followers, Eli Regalado stated: “The Lord brought this cryptocurrency to me. He said ‘Take this to my people for a wealth transfer.’ It has been confirmed a hundred times since then.”

The couple also told investors they would “tithe” and “sow” in causes that helped widows and orphans, “but the payments to ‘widows and orphans’ were primarily to the Regalados,” according to the complaint.

The Regalados, who had no previous experience selling cryptocurrency, are accused of violating the anti-fraud, licensing and registration provisions of the Colorado Securities Act.

They are set to appear in court Jan. 29.

United States News

Associated Press

Florida prepares for next round of rainfall after tropical storms swamped southern part of the state

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Forecasters warned Floridians to prepare for additional flash flooding after a tropical disturbance dumped as much as 20 inches (50 centimeters) of rainfall in the southern parts of the state, with worsening conditions expected Friday. The disorganized storm system was pushing across Florida from the Gulf of Mexico at roughly […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

1 of 2 abducted Louisiana children is found dead in Mississippi after their mother is killed

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Louisiana woman was found dead in her home Thursday, and her two young daughters were abducted and found hours later in Mississippi — one dead and the other alive, police said. A Louisiana resident who had dated the woman was arrested in Jackson, Mississippi, in connection with the deaths and […]

7 hours ago

Associated Press

Ready to renew your US passport? You can now apply online

WASHINGTON (AP) — There’s an easier way to renew your passport — online. The State Department has opened a trial run allowing a limited number of people to apply for their updated travel documents with a few clicks. You can’t just start anytime — windows will open at midday Eastern time each day and then […]

8 hours ago

Associated Press

You don’t think corn dogs are haute cuisine? These chefs, using alligator sausage, beg to differ.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Stefani De Palma, an award-winning chef and head of the a team vying to represent the Americas in a French culinary competition in January, knew she wanted her team’s work to feature flavors of her native California. The challenge at the Bocuse d’Or Americas competition this week in New Orleans was […]

9 hours ago

Associated Press

Attorney charged in voting machine tampering case announces run for Michigan Supreme Court

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — An attorney charged in connection with an effort to illegally access and tamper with voting machines in Michigan after the 2020 election said Thursday that he’s running for the state’s high court. Republican Matthew DePerno, a supporter of former President Donald Trump, made the announcement on the social platform X. “After […]

9 hours ago

Follow @ktar923...

Sponsored Content by Collins Comfort Masters

Here's how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.

Sponsored Articles

...

Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

Pastor accused of defrauding investors of $3M via crypto scheme says he got help from ‘the Lord’