412 Interactions, 6 today
The founder of the Argyle Coin Ponzi scam avoided paying the SEC a $4.5 million tax for running a “network of fake firms.”
The creator of a multi-million dollar cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme avoided paying a $4.5 million settlement to the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
On March 23, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida ordered Jose Angel Aman to pay the SEC over $4.2 million in disgorgement and $300,000 in prejudgement interest. However, the court found that the bill had been satisfied that day thanks to restitution paid in a parallel case from 2019.
According to an emergency order obtained by the SEC in May 2019, Florida-based Aman operated three consecutive Ponzi schemes that included a “complicated web of fraudulent companies in an effort to continually loot retail investors and perpetuate the Ponzi schemes as well as divert money to himself,” raking in about $30 million from a U.S. investor base of more than 300 people.
His efforts resulted in a seven-year prison term, three years of supervised parole, and an order to pay over $23.8 million in restitution to the SEC.
Aman was the driving force behind Argyle Coin, a cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme he ran with Canadian radio host Harold Seigel and his son Jonathan Seigel. The scheme unfairly promised a “risk-free” investment backed by “fancy coloured diamonds,” according to the SEC, with investors promised entry to the diamond market.
— Argyle Coin (@Argylediamond) October 10, 2018
However, it was later discovered that Aman was redistributing funds from current donors to former sponsors, misrepresenting the funds as dividends from their investments. Simultaneously, the fraudster was spending his clients’ money on personal expenses such as expensive clothes and horse-riding lessons. According to the SEC’s complaint:
“Aman, Natural Diamonds, Eagle, and Argyle Coin, misused or misappropriated more than $10 million of investor funds to pay other investors their purported returns and for Aman’s personal expenses, including rent on his home, purchases of horses, and riding lessons for his son.”
The most recent decision included Aman’s “Natural Diamonds Investment Co,” and in normal conditions, the Floridian would have had to pay the $4.5 million if there had been no previous fines.
As part of the final judgement, Aman is barred from engaging in a broad variety of stock and securities exchange act breaches, including “employing any system, scheme, or artifice to defraud” and “obtaining money or property by means of some untrue assertion of a material fact.”