Instagram influencer Jegara Igbara, with an alias known as Jay Mazini, has been accused by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of defrauding a significant number of his Instagram followers of Cryptos worth millions of dollars.
According to the FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge, William F. Sweeney, Jr., Jegara used his Instagram profile to lure his followers into selling him their flagship crypto assets at inflated and attractive terms.
As we allege, Igbara’s social media persona served as a backdrop for enticing victims to sell him their Bitcoin at attractive, but inflated, values. A behind-the-scenes look, however, revealed things aren’t always as they seem. There was nothing philanthropic about the Bitcoin transactions Igbara engaged in with his victims.
The suspect had acquired about a million followers on Instagram by posting videos in which he handed out huge amounts of funds to random individuals. Somewhere around January 2021, the suspect offered to buy the popular crypto from his followers “at prices 3.5% to 5% over market value.”
Jegara Igbara claimed that he was willing to pay his followers a premium of what crypto exchanges have on the amount of Bitcoin their customers can purchase and further deceived his victims by providing photoshopped screenshots of Bitcoin transfers done in the past.
Victims according to the FBI sent him the agreed amounts of Crypto but, the promised funds never arrived—leading the law enforcement agency to conclude that those screenshots were a sham.
Igbara, if proven guilty by an American court of these charges, faces up to 20 years behind bars. The regulator body had also warned buyers of the dangers of making crypto purchases via social media.
“Buyer beware when making purchases of Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency over social media,” stated IRS-CI Special Agent-in-Charge Larsen. “This defendant allegedly used his online popularity to defraud those seeking to exchange Bitcoin for cash above the market value. Always be on your guard and don’t fall prey to these cryptocurrency schemes.”