Instagram influencer, Jay Manzini has pleaded guilty to orchestrating a Bitcoin Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors of $8 million in crypto assets.
Jebara Igbara, also known on Instagram as Jay Manzini, pleaded guilty to money laundering, deception, and wire fraud conspiracy. He used his Instagram account to promote this scam, gathering investments from his followers and stealing a total of $8 million.
Manzini Conned His Instagram Followers
Manzini informed his followers that due to the quantity of Bitcoin he wished to purchase as an individual investor, regulations and authorized agencies would not permit him to buy and deposit into his wallet.
Then he asked his fans to send him Bitcoin, promising to return it with enticing incentives. He promised them that he would pay more than the going rate for these transactions.
Through this operation, he looted and pocketed $2.5 million from his followers who were ignorant of this scheme. He established trust for this “Bitcoin purchase” by putting advertisements on his Instagram story claiming that he intended to buy a large quantity of bitcoin from exchanges like Binance and Coinbase but was unable to do so.
He also offered to refund the investors’ investments at a better market price. He created fake wire transfer receipts to investors to support this falsehood, but the transactions never took place, and the money was instead stolen.
After it was revealed to be a Ponzi scheme, the US Department of Justice announced that Jay Manzini would face a 20-year prison sentence for money laundering.
Manzini Admits To Running A Ponzi Scheme
However, Manzini admitted to the charges of utilizing his social media reputation to get his followers to invest in his plan; the majority of the victims were members of the Muslim community in New York. This fraud robbed these people of at least $8 million.
In his plea in court today, the defendant admitted to using his Instagram influence to entice followers into this ponzi scheme in order to rob them of $8 million.
The IRSCI Special Agent in Charge, Fattorusso warned investors and newbies in the cryptocurrency space to be cautious, as the victims in this case were offered something too good to be true. And this case should be used as a benchmark for everyone considering investing, encouraging them to be cautious and skeptical of absurd and out-of-this-world promises.
He admitted to running the Ponzi scheme, but because of his guilty plea, he might get off with a less sentence. Cases similar to this have occurred in the past; one of the perpetrators of a $100 million crypto fraud pleaded guilty and received a 5-year prison sentence; the one who chose not to admit to his money laundering faced a 30-year prison sentence.
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