Colorado Pastor Accused of $1.3 Million Cryptocurrency Fraud Claims He “Misheard God”

A pastor from an online church in Colorado was accused of defrauding investors. Colorado’s securities commissioner filed a civil suit against the pastor and his wife, accusing them of pocketing $1.3 million. 

$3.2 Million in Less Than a Year

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Eli Regalado and his wife, Kaitlyn Regalado, were accused of defrauding around 300 people through INDXcoin, a cryptocurrency the pastor created. The Denver-based couple targeted Christians, and from June 2022 to April 2023, they raised over $3.2 million. 

The Currency is Dubbed “worthless”

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The filing from January 16 claims the currency the pastor created was “worthless,” while the couple, according to the investigation, reportedly spent $1.3 million on expensive jewelry, vacations, home renovations, and designer clothes, alongside a Range Rover.

“Low-risk, high-profit investment”

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The pastor advertised the allegedly fraudulent cryptocurrency as a “low-risk, high-profit investment.” Colorado Securities Commissioner Tung Chan’s statement, however, said, “We allege that Mr. Regalado took advantage of the trust and faith of his own Christian community and that he peddled outlandish promises of wealth to them when he sold them essentially worthless cryptocurrencies.”

The Lord Said so 

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The pastor reportedly told his followers, “The Lord said: I want you to build this.” In a YouTube video the pastor shared last April, he said he was “setting the rails for God’s wealth transfer.” The investigation showed that people started paying via Venmo and other apps months before the pastor’s official announcement. 

“Blessings” and “abundance”

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The filing alleged that the pastor used “prayer and quotes from the Bible, encouraging investors to have faith that their investment … would lead to ‘abundance’ and ‘blessings.'”

Low Risk-To-Return Ratio 

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The pastor also encouraged people to invest by telling them, “God is in the business of doing new things and breaking seals. And he did tell us to do this.” The filing also claims that the pastor promoted INDXcoins as “highly sought after and offered an unparalleled risk-to-return ratio.”

Waiting for a Miracle 

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“We launched an exchange,” the pastor said, adding, “The exchange technology failed. Things went downhill. And from that point forward, we’ve just been waiting on the Lord.” He continued, “I know this looks bad,” and repeated, “I know this looks terrible.”

Everything Shut in November 

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The Washington Post reported that investors were notified in November that the cryptocurrency’s network would be offline “for the time being. ” The pastor told investors to “stop being ruled by mammon” and “remove all negative talk from the community.”  

Regalado’s Video 

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The pastor posted a video on January 18, saying that the couple made $1.3 million from selling the cryptocurrency and spent “a few hundred thousand dollars” on home renovations because “the Lord told us to do.” Regalado continued by sharing an outrageous statement. 

Not Done 

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Regalado further shared in a clip, “Either I misheard God … or God is still not done with this project, and He is going to do a new thing.” He continued,  “What we’re praying for, and what we’re believing for still, is that God is going to do a miracle. God is going to work a miracle in the financial sector … (and that) everyone (who invested) … is going to be able to receive money back.”

“I don’t know what I’m doing”

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The pastor told potential investors, “I said: Lord, I don’t want to do this. I don’t know how to do this. I don’t have any experience in this industry. I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t want to be caught up in something.”

INDXcoin was Not Backed by Assets

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CNN learned that the INDXcoin cryptocurrency was not backed by assets, making it high-risk. Chan warned, “New coins and new exchanges are easy to create with open-source code. We want to remind consumers to be very skeptical.” 

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