The assets of a husband-and-wife-run online church have been frozen after they allegedly used the word of God to trick Christians into investing in a fake crypto before spending $1.3 million in investor funds on luxury goods.
According to a lawsuit submitted by Denver’s State Commissioner on Tuesday, the Victorious Grace Church operated on Facebook and YouTube and was run by pastor Eligio P. Regalado, and his wife, Kaitlyn.
Law360 reports that the duo are alleged to have encouraged their followers to trade the worthless INDXcoin crypto token on Kingdom Wealth Community, the church’s very own crypto exchange. The couple apparently used “biblical citations and faith-based appeals” while telling worshippers that their faith in God would be rewarded.
Allegedly, the pair made almost $3.4 million from investors and spent $1.3 million on luxury goods, including handbags, clothes, vacations, home renovations, and an au pair.
In November 2023, however, network activities had reportedly stopped and Eli told investors that the exchange was no more. He also claimed that God had told him to tell investors that they should “stay in INDXcoins,” adding that they should “take that word as gospel truth.”
The pair then allegedly claimed that their token was exempt from regulations while failing to disclose the fact that they had zero securities licensing with US authorities.
“Had defendants revealed the truth, investors would know there was no market for the investments, that the investments were entirely illiquid, and that the project did not align with what God purportedly told defendant Eli,” the commissioner alleged.
As a result of the lawsuit, on Wednesday a Denver Judge froze the assets of the Victorious Grace Church and imposed a two-week restraining order preventing them from violating state securities laws.