To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Online pastor accused of crypto scam claims God told him to do it

Online pastor accused of crypto scam claims God told him to do it

Pastor Eligio Regalado has been accused of fraud after setting up a cryptocurrency exchange.

The world of cryptocurrency has been rife with scams and rug-pulls - where investors have their money effectively stolen by untraceable means - right from the beginning.

What's scary is that, in the last few years, the crypto space has gone from a pretty nerdy little corner of the internet to a massive industry that everyone knows at least a tiny bit about.

With that change in status has come a deluge of even more scams, and it's always interesting to hear the excuses that people trot out if it looks like they might have been caught doing something less than advisable.

d3sign / Getty

Take pastor Eligio Regalado, a minister in Colorado who launched a crypto exchange and allegedly targeted Christians for investment.

He reportedly gathered a massive $3.2 million in investment for a cryptocurrency known as INDXcoin, sold on the Kingdom Wealth Exchange, before it mysteriously collapsed, leaving people out of pocket.

Investigators say he and his wife Kaitlyn used at least $1.3 million of funds from the exchange to support a lavish lifestyle, spending it on vacations, jewelry, luxury handbags, cosmetic dentistry, clothes and home renovations.

Where excuses are concerned, Regalado has served up an absolute all-timer in an attempt to defend himself - saying "the Lord" encouraged him to set up the scheme.

He made a video address attempting to explain why he and his wife had just remodelled their home at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars while investors remained out of pocket.

Apparently, that remodelling was something "that the Lord told us to do", he said, while adding that God appeared to him in a dream and gave him advice on how to run the crypto exchange.

Maria Korneeva / Getty

As you can probably imagine, Colorado's securities commissioner has filed filed civil fraud charges against the Regalados.

In the video statement, Regalado said the charges that he and his wife pocketed the money are "true", and added: “What we're praying for, and what we're believing for still is that God is going to do a miracle.

"God is going to work a miracle in the financial sector. He's going to bring a miracle into INDXcoin. Everyone that has come in for money is going to be able to receive money back."

The Regalados, who had no previous experience selling cryptocurrency, are accused of violating the anti-fraud, licensing and registration provisions of the Colorado Securities Act, and are due to appear in court on January 29.

Needless to say, Colorado securities commissioner Tung Chan has followed up this whole affair by warning of the dangers of plunging into investments in crypto without thorough research.

Featured Image Credit: INDXCOIN/YOUTUBE / Indxcoin