Joshua David Nicholas faces up to five years in prison. The 28-year-old American admitted to participating in the creation of EmpiresX, a ponzi scheme that siphoned off more than 100 million dollars from investors. The two accomplices of this young Florida resident are on the run in Brazil.
U.S. Cryptocurrency Scam Band Dismantled
Joshua David Nicholas, a young Florida resident prosecuted for founding EmpiresX, a crypto ponzi scheme, has admitted to the charges. According to a memo from the United States Department of Justice, Joshua David Nicholas, was the lead trader of EmpiresX, a so-called cryptocurrency investment platform that was actually a ponzi scheme.
The young man faces up to five years in prison, but a sentencing date has not yet been set. “The sentence will be determined by a federal district court judge after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors,” the DOJ memo informs.
Nicholas admitted that he and others fraudulently promoted EmpiresX by making numerous false claims about, among other things, a so-called trading robot and “guaranteed” returns for investors and potential investors in the company.
Joshua David Nicholas did not act alone. His two Brazilian accomplices, Emerson Sousa Pires and Flavio Mendes Goncalves are on the run in their country. They face up to 45 years in prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud.
EmpiresX and its false promises of rapid enrichment
Billed as a crypto trading and investment platform, EmpiresX, was launched in late 2020 by Joshua David Nicholas, Emerson Sousa Pires and Flavio Mendes Goncalves.
The three “entrepreneurs” promised investors that their “trading bot” powered by artificial intelligence, guaranteed returns of up to 1% per day. In less than two years, clients reassured that EmpiresX was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as a hedge fund invested about $100 million in the company’s proposed investments.
According to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), EmpiresX was in fact a ponzi scheme and had never been registered with the SEC as a hedge fund, contrary to the claims of its three founders.
The “trading robot” guaranteeing daily returns of 1% never actually existed. Instead, EmpiraX clients were paid with money contributed by new investors. The rest of the money was used to take it easy by “renting a Lamborghini, shopping at Tiffany & Co. and making a payment for a second home,” the SEC reported.
EmpiresX’s misadventure is a reminder that cryptocurrency is not an industry in which money is earned effortlessly. Like other fields, the crypto sector, requires time, effort, networking, intelligence (or luck) to make a fortune. It’s also a call for caution to all those who jump on any crypto project guaranteeing a crazy return on investment. For the time being, the people scammed by EmpiresX have no choice but to identify themselves to the Justice and submit a victim impact statement. They will probably not see the color of the money invested in this Ponzi scheme, unfortunately they are not the only ones.
I dream of a world where every citizen has total control over themselves, including their finances. I believe that Bitcoin is one of the tools that will achieve this revolution. Since 2019, I am learning about this cryptocurrency and spreading the word around.