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HomeLaw & PoliticsNew Jersey Man Pleads Guilty to $8 Million Crypto Ponzi Scheme

New Jersey Man Pleads Guilty to $8 Million Crypto Ponzi Scheme

April 19, 2024 — An Instagram influencer from Edgewater, Jebara Igbara, known online as “Jay Mazini,” has been sentenced to seven years in prison after being convicted of defrauding investors out of at least $8 million. The sentencing was carried out by U.S. District Judge Frederic Block, who imposed an 84-month prison term for charges including wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracy, and money laundering.

Jebara Igbara, a popular social media figure with nearly a million followers, exploited his online influence to orchestrate multiple fraudulent schemes. He targeted members of the Muslim-American community in New York, presenting himself as a successful investor and devout follower of the Muslim faith.

Igbara was involved in various fraudulent activities, primarily through a company he named Halal Capital LLC. He deceived investors by claiming to invest their money in stocks, electronics resale, and the sale of personal protective equipment. However, he was actually running a Ponzi scheme, using new investments to pay earlier investors while funneling the majority of the funds into personal luxuries and gambling.

Igbara’s criminal activities were brought to light with his sentencing on Wednesday, following his guilty plea in November 2022. His fraudulent operations were active until March 2021.

The fraudulent activities occurred primarily in New York, where Igbara targeted local members of his community. His sentencing took place at the Eastern District of New York, under the jurisdiction of U.S. District Judge Frederic Block.

Igbara used his social media presence to build trust and credibility, misleading investors about the nature of his business ventures. His schemes capitalized on the trust and religious solidarity of the Muslim-American community, promising lucrative returns on their investments.

By portraying a successful lifestyle funded by supposed cryptocurrency investments, Igbara convinced his followers to invest large sums of money. His deceptive practices were eventually uncovered by federal prosecutors, leading to his conviction and sentencing. As part of the judgment, Igbara is also required to pay $10 million in forfeiture, signifying the severity of his crimes.

This case underscores the potential dangers of investment opportunities promoted through social media platforms and highlights the importance of diligent verification before committing funds to seemingly attractive ventures.



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