Online pastor charged for ‘worthless’ crypto scam says god made him do it

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A Colorado-based online pastor who has been charged with fraud for selling a “worthless” cryptocurrency says he only did it because “the Lord” told him to give his followers a “10X.”

In a strange 9-minute video — posted to INDXcoin’s official website — INDXcoin founder and pastor Eli Regalado told users of the INDXcoin community that the charges being leveled against him and his partner were true.

“The charges are that Kaitlin and I pocketed $1.3 million dollars, and I just want to come out and say those charges are true.”

On Jan. 18, Eligio Regalado and his partner Kaitlin Regalado were charged with fraud for their role in issuing and marketing a sham token called “INDXcoin” to their followers, according to a statement from the Colorado Securities Commission.

“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,” wrote Colorado Securities Commissioner Tung Chan.

“The complaint alleges that Regalado targeted Christian communities in Denver and claimed that God told him directly that investors would become wealthy if they put money into INDXcoin.”

From June 2022 to April 2023, INDXcoin raised nearly $3.2 million from over 300 investors through a platform called the Kingdom Wealth Exchange, the Colorado regulator alleged.

The majority of this investment was raised from the online-only church, Victorious Grace Church, where Regalado serves as a pastor.

Of the more than $3 million raised from investors, Regalado said that half went to the IRS for taxes, while a significant sum went to a divine-backed home remodeling.

“A few hundred thousand dollars went to a home remodel that the Lord told us to do.”

Regalado shut down the Kingdom Wealth Exchange on Nov. 1 last year after claiming that there weren’t “enough finances to keep the internal servers running,” adding that he and his partner were on the “doorstep of poverty.”

Regalado informs his followers that INDXcoin and Kingdom Wealth Exchange had been shut down. Source: Indxcoin

In the same announcement, Regalado informed INDXcoin holders that God told them that all investors should refrain from selling the token and that his followers should “stop being ruled by mammon (chasing money).”

Related: Crypto exchange Debiex faces scam allegations, CFTC claims $2.3M in losses

While having admitted to being moments away from poverty, the lawsuit filed against them by Commissioner Chan alleges the pair spent the majority of the $1.3 million sum on cosmetic dentistry, luxury handbags, snowmobiles, home renovations, and luxury vacations.

Cointelegraph contacted Regalado for comment but did not receive an immediate response.

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