It is a shame to wake up to negative news about crypto, especially when that news is a scam, a Ponzi scheme on top of it all. Even though the industry has been around for over a decade, many bad apples still need to be shaken out of the space before blockchain reaches mass adoption. A lack of regulations does not help the situation, nor does fear, uncertainty, and doubt, otherwise known as FUD. FUD is most apparent at the Federal level as no precedents are being set, nor is crypto on anyone’s agenda in Congress. The states are left to write the rules they see fit or, in some cases, not write any regulations.
Most recently, Jebera Igbara, also known as Jay Mazini, stole $2.4mm from his Instagram followers, where he was famous for posting videos of him walking around handing out large amounts of cash to people, promising them unreasonably high returns on their “investments” if they gave him money. After garnering $2.4mm, he targeted Muslim Americans in New York City, many of who were his Instagram followers; He had nearly 1 million followers. Mazini told them he would invest in everything from real estate to stocks and cryptocurrencies. Instead, he kept their money and would show promising returns to other investors, who then fed into the Ponzi scheme.
All in all, Mr. Mazini could steal $8mm from people who trusted him and respected and believed in him. On top of that, Mazini is not a licensed securities broker, so the promises of purchasing stock on behalf of other investors were clearly nothing but robbing Peter to pay Paul.
Mazini is the latest in a series of scammers stealing bitcoin and making undeliverable promises to people who trusted him. He faces up to 20 years in prison for wire fraud and defrauding investors. The FBI monitored him from February 2021 until his recent arrest, with written testimony provided as early as March 2021.