A Colorado pastor is blaming God for his crypto venture, after his followers accused him of embezzling over $1.2 million.
And no, he’s not “blaming God ” like you and me would do, in a general manner, he’s literally claiming God told him to start a cryptocurrency venture. And to spend a few hundred thousand dollars to remodel his house with the money from his investors.
This CNN report has the condensed story of this grift:
“The Signature and Silvergate banks had collapsed weeks earlier, signaling the need to look into other investment options beyond financial institutions, he said. With divine wisdom, he said, he was “setting the rails for God’s wealth transfer.” Shortly afterward, Regalado and his wife, Kaitlyn Regalado, launched a cryptocurrency, INDXcoin, and began selling it to members of his Victorious Grace Church and other Christian communities in the Denver area. They sold it through the Kingdom Wealth Exchange, an online cryptocurrency marketplace he created, controlled and operated.”
Also read: Dear Lord, Someone Built a Religion Around Blockchain
Over 300 investors were so overtaken by the “prayer and quotes from the Bible” the pastor used to convince them “abundance” and “blessings” were coming their way, they invested more than $3.2 million.
What’s unexpected though isn’t the embezzlement and the misusing of inventors funds, it’s the fact that the pastor actually admitted to it.
Eli Regalado posted a video statement to cryptocurrency’s YouTube channel on January 19th and admitted the charges were true. And that it was all God’s doing, and only God could make it better.
“The charges are that Kaitlyn and I pocketed 1.3 million dollars, and I just want to come out and say that those charges are true,” he said, adding, “A few hundred thousand dollars went to a home remodel that the Lord told us to do”.
The pastor also used some funds, about $250K of them, to pay his taxes to the IRS, and is now praying to God for a miracle and for his investors to get their money back.
Maybe he could switch to a generative AI startup, as a lot of other crypto companies are doing?
Illustration from The Righteous Gemstones, an excellent TV show you should definitely add to your watchlist.