NATIONAL NEWS

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

Jan 23, 2024, 3:48 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.

National News

Associated Press

US investigating some Jeep and Ram vehicles after getting complaints of abrupt engine stalling

DETROIT (AP) — U.S. auto safety regulators are investigating complaints that some Ram pickup trucks and Jeep Wagoneer SUVs can lose power, shift into park and apply the emergency brake. The probe announced Monday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration covers about 150,000 vehicles made by Stellantis from the 2022 model year. All have […]

45 minutes ago

Associated Press

US-Russian journalist convicted in a rapid, secret trial, court records show

A Russian court has convicted Alsu Kurmasheva, a Russian-American journalist for the U.S. government-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, of spreading false information about the Russian army and sentenced her to 6½ years in prison after a secret trial, court records and officials said Monday. The conviction in the city of Kazan came on Friday, the […]

1 hour ago

FILE - A Delta Air Lines jet leaves the gate, Friday, July 19, 2024, at Logan International Airport...

Associated Press

Air travel delays continue, though most airlines have recovered from global tech outage

Delays at some airports continue after a faulty software update caused havoc worldwide and led to the grounding by almost all airlines of a number of flights, but the impact is receding. Total cancellations within, into or out of the U.S. earlyl Monday totaled 758, according to the latest data from FlightAware, which is greater […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

2024 Election Latest: Harris vows to ‘earn and win’ party nomination after Biden drops out

President Joe Biden dropped out of the 2024 race for the White House on Sunday, ending his bid for reelection following a disastrous debate with Donald Trump that raised doubts about his fitness for office just four months before the election. Meanwhile, Vice President Kamala Harris is being thrust into the most scrutinizing of spotlights, […]

2 hours ago

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan speaks to employees in Washington, Thur...

Associated Press

EPA awards $4.3 billion to fund projects in 30 states to reduce climate pollution

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency is awarding $4.3 billion in grants to fund projects in 30 states to reduce climate pollution. The money will go to 25 projects targeting greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, electric power, commercial and residential buildings, industry, agriculture and waste and materials management. The grants are paid for by […]

5 hours ago

Associated Press

Stock market today: Asian shares fall after Wall St ends worst week; Biden withdraw from 2024 race

Asian stocks were mostly lower Monday after President Joe Biden exited the 2024 race. The downbeat start to the week followed losses Friday on Wall Street as businesses around the world scrambled to contain disruptions from a massive technology outage. U.S. futures were little changed and oil prices rose. Biden announced his withdrawal from the […]

9 hours ago

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