A pastor from Colorado is currently facing allegations of fraud after reportedly embezzling over a million dollars through a cryptocurrency venture he promoted among his followers.
Eligio “Eli” Regalado and his spouse, Kaitlyn Regalado, are the subjects of a legal action initiated by the Colorado securities commissioner last week. The action accuses the duo of breaching various sections of the Colorado Securities Act, including those related to anti-fraud, licensing, and registration.
The legal document claims that the Regalados exploited a faithful congregation, marketing a cryptocurrency product deemed “unsafe” and “unsecure.” They allegedly leveraged Eli’s clerical status to endorse the product, convincing investors of divine endorsement for the cryptocurrency. The securities commissioner notes that the investors have suffered substantial financial losses.
The Regalados commenced the sale of their cryptocurrency, named INDXcoin, to the Denver Christian community in June 2022. By April 2023, they had amassed nearly $3.2 million from over 300 individuals, as per a statement from the Colorado Division of Securities.
The couple not only promoted the cryptocurrency, described as “illiquid” and “essentially worthless” in the legal complaint, to their church members but also exclusively distributed it via Kingdom Wealth Exchange (KWE), a digital cryptocurrency platform of their own creation and management.
Part of their promotional strategy involved Eli claiming divine revelation, asserting that God had personally instructed him to develop the cryptocurrency and promising prosperity to investors. Regalado reiterated this claim in a recent video to his followers, stating, “The Lord said: I want you to build this.” He admitted to selling the cryptocurrency without a definitive exit strategy but maintained his faith in divine intervention, suggesting that either he misinterpreted God’s message or that God’s plan for the project was not yet complete.
Regalado faces charges including securities fraud, operating as an unlicensed broker-dealer, offering unregistered securities, and the imposition of a constructive trust.
In the same video, Eli disclosed that $1.3 million of the raised funds were diverted for personal use, including tax payments to the IRS and a significant home renovation, purportedly instructed by divine guidance. He stated, “Out of the $1.3 [million], half a million dollars went to the IRS, and a few hundred thousand dollars went to a home remodel the Lord told us to do.”
Praying to the Lord that this is satire otherwise wow pic.twitter.com/pk6VJ260jP
— TTI (@TikTokInvestors) January 21, 2024