Online Pastors Charged in $1.3 Million Cryptocurrency Scandal

A Colorado-based pastor of an online church, Eli Regalado, and his wife are facing charges for allegedly pocketing $1.3 million through a cryptocurrency fraud scheme. What makes this case more astonishing is Regalado's claim that he was following God's instructions.

Regalado and his wife marketed their cryptocurrency, INDXcoin, to Christian communities, assuring potential investors that God had ordained its success. The Colorado Division of Securities revealed that INDXcoin raised nearly $3.2 million, with a significant portion allegedly used for the personal benefit of the Regalados.

In a video statement, Eli Regalado admitted to the charges, stating, "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."

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The couple is accused of spending investor funds on luxury items, including a Range Rover, handbags, jewelry and extravagant experiences such as boat rentals and snowmobile adventures.

The couple faces charges of violating anti-fraud provisions outlined in the Colorado Securities Act.

Tung Chan, the Colorado Securities Commissioner, initiated the filing of civil fraud charges after individuals who invested in INDXcoin and suffered financial losses approached her.

"We allege that Mr. Regalado took advantage of the trust and faith of his own Christian community and that he peddled outlandish promises of wealth to them when he sold them essentially worthless cryptocurrencies," Chan said in a statement.

Deception and False Teachers

The Bible is explicit about the dangers of deception and false teachings.

"For such are false apostles and deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ," (2 Cor. 11:13).

"Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves," (Matt. 7:15).

Deception is not a new phenomenon, and the Bible provides clear guidance on identifying false teachings: "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world," (1 John 4:1).

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Deception in the End Times

The Scriptures forewarn about deception intensifying in all parts of society during the end times: "For false christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect," (Matt. 24:24).

In these perilous times, it becomes crucial for Christians to anchor themselves in the Word of God and seek spiritual discernment from the Holy Spirit. Because if they do not, even the elect are capable of being deceived by the spirit of the Antichrist.

Staying Grounded in the Word

"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path," (Ps. 119:105). It is of the utmost importance for believers to stay grounded in God's Word as a safeguard against deception. As Christians, we are urged to deepen our understanding of Scripture and cultivate spiritual discernment: "But solid food belongs to those who are mature, for those who through practice have powers of discernment that are trained to distinguish both good and evil," (Heb. 5:14).

The unfolding events in the Regalado case serve as a stark reminder for Christians to exercise discernment, anchored in the timeless truths of the Bible. As believers, let us remain vigilant, test the spirits and seek guidance from the Holy Spirit to protect ourselves, our families and our communities from deception in these challenging times.

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James Lasher is Staff Writer for Charisma Media.


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