Nine individuals have been charged by US prosecutors in two separate cases for founding or promoting two cryptocurrency businesses that are allegedly Ponzi schemes that raised $8.4 million from investors.
The Southern District of New York’s U.S. Attorney’s Office unveiled the indictment on December 14, alleging that IcomTech and Forcount, two alleged cryptocurrency mining and trading firms, made promises to investors of “guaranteed daily returns” that could double their money in six months.
Prosecutors claim that both companies were actually paying earlier investors with money from later investors while using other funds for company promotion, luxury purchases, and real estate purchases.
“Lavish expos” that promised investors financial freedom and wealth were held both domestically and abroad. These events were supplemented by presentations in small towns.
Promoters allegedly arrived at events in pricey vehicles, dressed to the nines, and boasted about the profits they were making from investing in the business they were promoting. A “portal” was made available to investors so they could track their profits.
Users’ inability to withdraw their supposed returns caused IcomTech and Forcount to start to fall apart.
According to allegations made by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against Forcount’s creators and promoters, the business allegedly targeted primarily Spanish speakers and amassed over $8.4 million from “hundreds” of investors by offering “memberships” that included a share of its cryptocurrency trading and mining activities.
IcomTech and Forcount launched “Icoms” and “Mindexcoin,” respectively, in an effort to generate liquidity and try to recoup investors’ money.
As both companies stopped paying investors in 2021, it appears that the token sales were a failure.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams declared, “With these two indictments, this Office is sending a message to all cryptocurrency scammers: We are coming for you. “Stealing is stealing, even when it’s disguised in cryptocurrency terminology.”
The founder of IcomTech, David Carmona of Queens, New York, was named in the indictment and accused of conspiring to commit wire fraud, a crime that carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence.
Francisley da Silva, the founder of Forcount, is a native of Curitiba, Brazil. She is accused of money laundering, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, all of which carry a maximum sentence of 60 years in prison if found guilty.
The firm’s promoters are accused of making false statements and participating in a conspiracy to commit wire fraud as well as other offenses like wire fraud and money laundering.