In a bizarre financial scandal, a Colorado pastor, Eli Regalado, and his wife, Kaitlyn, are facing accusations of defrauding their own congregation of millions of dollars through the promotion of a seemingly worthless cryptocurrency called INDXcoin. The couple is currently under investigation for fraud after allegedly misrepresenting the digital currency as a low-risk, high-profit investment pegged to the average value of the top 100 cryptocurrencies.
The Colorado Division of Securities revealed that INDXcoin was “illiquid and practically worthless.” Moreover, it was exclusively available through the Regalados’ proprietary crypto exchange, Kingdom Wealth Exchange, which the pastor shut down, rendering the coin virtually useless.
Eli Regalado has taken an extraordinary defense, claiming that he was divinely instructed by God to launch and promote INDXcoin, despite having no prior experience with cryptocurrencies. He asserted that God directed him to present the cryptocurrency as a means for a “wealth transfer” to his followers, despite his initial reluctance. Regalado insisted that he may have “misunderstood” the divine message but maintained that God commanded him to pursue this venture.
The pastor and his wife allegedly advertised INDXcoin through presentations at their church and other congregations, managing to accrue $3.2 million from unsuspecting investors who believed the cryptocurrency was a creation endorsed by God. When the Regalados claimed an exchange malfunction as the reason for INDXcoin’s demise, investigators discovered that they had diverted at least $1.3 million for personal benefit.
Eli Regalado attempted to justify some of these expenditures, admitting to using $500,000 for tax payments and several hundred thousand dollars for a home remodel, which he claimed God instructed them to undertake. However, investigators assert that there is evidence of additional personal expenses, including purchases such as a Range Rover, luxury handbags, jewelry, boat rentals, and snowmobile adventures, funded by investor funds.
Colorado Securities Commissioner Tung Chan condemned Regalado, accusing him of exploiting the trust and faith of his Christian community by making extravagant promises of wealth through essentially worthless cryptocurrencies. Regalado, who reportedly turned to religion while serving a prison sentence for auto theft 20 years ago, started preaching for the online-only Victorious Grace Church, where he and his wife are listed as the sole employees.
In the face of legal allegations and financial scrutiny, Eli Regalado addressed his followers in a video, suggesting that he may have misunderstood God’s message but maintained hope for a miracle. He urged his congregation to believe in the possibility of divine intervention in the financial sector, expressing two possibilities: either he misheard God, or God is not done with the cryptocurrency project.
Despite the gravity of the accusations, the reactions of Regalado’s followers have been astonishingly supportive. In the comments section of a video where he discusses his predicament and invokes God’s will, numerous individuals reassure him that God will “turn the situation around.”
This unexpected response underscores the complexity of the situation, intertwining matters of faith, trust, and financial deception within a community led by a pastor facing serious legal consequences.