Eli Regalado, a Colorado pastor, and his wife, Kaitlyn, are under scrutiny for allegedly defrauding their congregation by promoting a worthless cryptocurrency scheme. The couple, facing fraud allegations, assert that their actions were divinely inspired.
The Regalados are at the centre of an investigation launched after they allegedly launched and promoted a cryptocurrency named INDXcoin as a lucrative investment tied to the top 100 cryptocurrencies’ average value. However, the Colorado Division of Securities has labelled INDXcoin as “illiquid and practically worthless.”
According to authorities, the cryptocurrency was exclusively available through Regalados’ proprietary crypto exchange, Kingdom Wealth Exchange, which the pastor shuttered last year, rendering the coin virtually useless. The Colorado Division of Securities initiated a fraud investigation into the couple’s activities.
In an unexpected twist, Eli Regalado claimed that he was following divine instructions in launching the cryptocurrency scheme. He contends that God instructed him to create and promote INDXcoin for a “wealth transfer” to his followers, although he acknowledges a potential misunderstanding of the divine message.
Regalado shared in a video update to INDXcoin investors, “It was last October that the Lord brought this cryptocurrency to me. The Lord said, ‘Take this to my people for a wealth transfer, I want you to build this.’ We took God at his word and sold a cryptocurrency with no clear exit.”
Despite initial reservations and a lack of experience in the cryptocurrency realm, Regalado asserts that God compelled him to proceed with the venture. “God is in the business of doing new things and breaking seals. And he did tell us to do this,” Regalado recalled.
Accused of promoting INDXcoin through presentations at their church and others, the Regalados allegedly amassed $3.2 million from investors who believed in the cryptocurrency’s divine origin. However, investigators discovered that at least $1.3 million was diverted for personal use.
Regalado attributed the collapse of INDXcoin to an exchange malfunction but admitted to using investor funds for personal expenses, including payments to the IRS and a home renovation. However, investigators claim evidence of additional personal expenditures from investor funds, such as luxury items and recreational activities.
Colorado Securities Commissioner Tung Chan condemned Regalado’s alleged exploitation of his Christian community, stating, “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.”
Regalado, reportedly finding religion while serving a prison sentence two decades ago, began preaching for the online-only Victorious Grace Church, where he and his wife are the sole employees.
Addressing accusations of violating Colorado’s anti-fraud laws, Regalado told his followers in a video that he may have misinterpreted God’s message but expressed hope for divine intervention in the financial sector.
“Either I misheard God, or every one of you who prayed and came in — you as well. Or two, God is still not done with this project. What we’re still believing is that God is going to do a miracle. God is going to work a miracle in the financial sector,” Regalado stated.
The investigation into the Regalados’ alleged crypto scheme fraud underscores the intersection of faith, finance, and legal accountability. Authorities aim to determine the extent of the pastor’s involvement in misleading his congregation for personal gain.
Moreover, despite the allegations, many of Regalado’s followers continue to express unwavering faith in divine intervention, as evident in the supportive comments on his video invoking God’s will.
As the investigation unfolds, questions linger about the role of faith and accountability in cases of alleged financial exploitation within religious communities.