Nine Associated with Crypto Companies IcomTech and Forcount Charged With Promoting Ponzi Schemes

Continuing its crackdown on crypto, the Justice Department charged promoters for their involvement in two fraudulent cryptocurrency companies.

Exterior shot of the US Department of Justice Building in DC
The U.S. Department of Justice building in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Liu Jie/Xinhua via Getty Images)

Nine individuals were charged by the U.S. Justice Department for operating two seperate cryptocurrency ponzi schemes.

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IcomTech and Forcount were promoted as crypto mining and trading companies, and customers were promised they’d see daily returns and double their investments within six months. In reality, neither company was engaging in mining or trading, according to the Justice Department. The founders and promoters of the schemes instead allegedly used investor funds to pay other victims and promote the companies.

David Carmona, Marco Ruiz Ochoa, Moses Valdez, Juan Arellano, David Brend and Gustavo Rodriguez were charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud regarding IcomTech, while Francisley da Silva, Juan Tacuri and Anntonia Perez Hernandez were charged with wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud while working for Forcount.

The promoters hosted lavish expositions throughout the U.S. in order to lure victims, showing up in expensive cars and luxury clothing, according to the indictment. They also claimed their digital tokens, known as “Icoms” and “Mindexcoin,” would one day be worth a significant amount. In reality, they were essentially worthless, said the Justice Department.

In 2018, when victims began attempting to withdraw funds, they were either allegedly unable to obtain their investments or were met with delays and hidden fees.

“With these two indictments, this Office is sending a message to all cryptocurrency scammers: We are coming for you,” said Damian Williams, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, in a statement. “Stealing is stealing, even when dressed up in the jargon of cryptocurrency.”

Nine Associated with Crypto Companies IcomTech and Forcount Charged With Promoting Ponzi Schemes