Denver pastor swindles congregation in 1.3-million-dollar crypto scam

The founder of the online church and crypto exchange now faces fraud charges.

Eli Regalado, a self-proclaimed pastor of the Victorious Grace Church – which exists only online, has been charged with fraud for orchestrating a fraudulent cryptocurrency scheme that duped investors from his congregation out of 1.3 million dollars.

Regalado, who was also creator of the cryptocurrency INDXcoin and of the Kingdom Wealth Exchange, exploited his religious influence to lure unsuspecting online followers into investing in worthless INDXcoins, the BusinessDen reports

According to a lawsuit filed in Denver District Court this month,

Regalado promised his followers a "miracle in very short order" if they purchased the cryptocurrency, claiming it was part of “a divine wealth transfer.”

State Securities Commissioner Tung Chan alleges that the Regalados – his wife Kaitlyn is part of the story too – made 3.4 million dollars from the sale of INDXcoins between 2022 and the first half of 2023. The pastor pocketed at least 1.3 million of the proceeds, funding extravagant purchases such as a Range Rover, jewelry, luxury handbags, cosmetic dentistry, boat and snowmobile rentals, as well as home renovations.

Moreover, the couple redirected 290,000 dollars to their online church, Victorious Grace Church, which conveniently lacks a physical location. Chan claims that the Regalados deceived investors by promising to use the funds for charitable causes like helping widows and orphans but instead used the money for personal gain.

The INDXcoin project was abruptly shut down in November 2023, leaving investors bewildered. State investigators, after subpoenaing the couple's bank records, discovered that the Regalados misled investors by inflating the value of INDXcoin. The cryptocurrency, which supposedly sold for 1.50 dollars each, was purportedly backed by 300 million, but in reality, investigators found only 30,000 dollars.

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The lawsuit further reveals that the Regalados failed to disclose a damning audit from cybersecurity firm Hacken, which rated the project "0/10." The Regalados, lacking coding expertise, created a cryptocurrency and exchange that were "catastrophically technologically deficient."

The state has filed a civil lawsuit against the Regalados, accusing them of securities fraud, selling investments without a license, and selling unregistered securities. A judge has frozen the bank accounts of the Regalados, INDXcoin, the Kingdom Wealth Exchange, and Grace Led Marketing for 14 days, aiming to recover some of the investors' losses.

The crypto pastor is likely to go to jail, if convicted, but INDXcoin investors will never recover their money in full, given that the Kingdom Wealth Exchange no longer exists and the cryptocurrency is banned. Unless a divine force intervenes for a miracle, of course.

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