A Colorado pastor who convinced his followers to buy millions of dollars worth of a cryptocurrency called “INDXcoin” allegedly stole $1.3 million of the proceeds, which he spent on a Range Rover, lavish vacations, luxury goods and a home remodel that he claims was ordained by God.
The Colorado Securities Division filed civil fraud charges last week against Eli Regalado and his wife, Kaitlyn, accusing them of selling the “illiquid and practically worthless” coin to members of the Christian community, leaving them out of millions of dollars.
Regulators accuse the two of creating, marketing and selling INDXcoin through the Kingdom Wealth Exchange (KWE), an online exchange they also created and operated. From June 2022 through April 2023, INDXcoinc raised nearly $3.2 million from more than 300 investors.
In a video update addressing the charges, Regalado confirmed the two had indeed walked off with more than a million dollars.
“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,” he said.
Numerous comments below the video praise Regalado’s judgment and reaffirm their faith in God’s plan for the eventual success of the coin.
“Stay in the boat, trust in the Lord, and STOP looking at the storm,” reads one comment. Another reads, “I will ask the Lord to show you His Glory in the Index Coin project Eli. Keep us posted! Love to your wife as well. ❤️”
Eli and Kaitlyn Regalado both claim to be ordained by Destiny Churches & Ministries International, which promoted INDXcoin as the “best crypto currency opportunity ever” to its own Facebook followers in 2022.
Eli Regalado told followers of his online church that God instructed him directly that investors would become wealthy if they bought INDXcoin, according to a complaint filed by the Colorado Attorney General’s Office.
The complaint alleges that the Regalados also told investors a percentage of their funds would go to causes that helped “widows and orphans,” when in reality, the payments “were primarily to the Regalados.”
The couple had no prior experience in cryptocurrency but entered the space anyway, they say, at the direction of God. A third-party audit referenced by the Securities Commission reportedly found INDXcoin’s code “unsafe, unsecure and riddled with serious technical problems.”
“He took us into this cryptocurrency,” Regalado said in the video last week. “I said, ‘Lord ... what do you want me to do?’ And the Lord said, ‘I want you to build this the way that it should be done.’”
He continued, “The Lord said, ‘Give them a 10x [return].’ And I’m, like, well, where’s this liquidity going to come from? And the Lord says, ‘Trust me.’”
The couple faces a preliminary hearing in Colorado District Court on Jan. 29.