Crypto fraudster Jay Mazini to forfeit $10m in religious Ponzi

Social media influencer Jabara Igbara, commonly known as Jay Mazini, was sentenced to seven years in prison for stealing over $8 million from Muslims via a crypto fraud scheme. 

On April 24, United States District Judge Frederic Block pronounced Igbara guilty of orchestrating money laundering and wire fraud through his Instagram page and other social media profiles under the alias Jay Mazini. 

“Igbara was a crypto con man.  He not only created a fake online presence to purport that he was a wealthy crypto investor, but he also used his Instagram persona as proof of success when convincing his unsuspecting victims to invest in his schemes.  He conned a New York Muslim community out of millions then simply spent it and gambled it away.”

Thomas M. Fattorusso, IRS-CI Special Agent-in-Charge

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Igbara operated his Ponzi scheme via a sham venture dubbed Halal-Capital LLC. Using the company and his social media influence, the crypto fraudster collected capital from unsuspecting victims by offering attractive rates and falsified bank transfers as supposed payments for digital assets. 

In addition to Igbara’s 84-month prison sentence, Judge Frederic Block ordered that he forfeit $10 million for his crimes. 

World governments clampdown on crypto fraud

Igbara’s conviction underscores a global effort to eradicate crypto fraud and bad actors from the digital asset ecosystem. FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried was sentenced to 25 years for defrauding customers of billions in cash and crypto. 

Per, tech giant Google is suing crypto scammers leveraging fake apps to steal funds from investors. The scams reportedly affected more than 100,000 users globally. 

In Asia, Indian and South Korean authorities have launched campaigns against malicious individuals behind various crypto fraud schemes. India’s Enforcement Directorate disclosed a charge sheet with over 299 entities under investigation. 

Meanwhile, South Korean police apprehended a pair of fraudsters suspected of thieving $4.1 million from an elderly citizen through fake crypto investment strategies. 

Despite the massive amounts lost to crypto criminals, TRM Labs noted a 9% decrease in illicit virtual currency transactions last year. The research found a reduction from $49.5 billion in 2022 to $34.8 billion in 2023.

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