A new lawsuit filed this month has revealed further details about what took place behind the scenes at the troubled cryptocurrency "Argyle Coin."
According to the lawsuit, the entire cryptocurrency project was nothing more than a desperate attempt to keep a pre-existing Ponzi scheme alive and repay investors who were anxiously awaiting their dividends.
The group of Venezuelans behind the lawsuit say that they are among 300 amateur investors who got caught up in the Ponzi scheme, according to Law360.
The alleged masterminds of the scam, Jose Angel Aman, Harold Seigel, and his son Jonathan Seigel, ran two diamond trading firms Natural Diamonds and Eagle Financial. The two companies were connected with Argyle Coin, a cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme which was said to be backed by diamonds.
Natural Diamonds predated Argyle Coin and seems to be where the scam originated. The firm reportedly lured investors to pour money into their operations by overstating their expertise in the diamond industry.
Since 2014, Aman was promising investors a 24% return on their investment within two years through his company Natural Diamonds, having no clue how he was going to fulfill his promises. By 2015, Aman was working with his two accomplices, selling fraudulent investment contracts through Eagle Financial, and using those funds to pay back previous investors.
According to court documents:
“[Eagle Financial] and its principals overstated their experience in the diamond and jewelry businesses to lure investors into trusting [Eagle Financial] and its principals with their investment.”
The lawsuit suggests that the fraudsters used all of the investments that they received paying back previous clients, and never actually did anything with the money that would earn a return. Still, the defendants in the case continued to lie to investors and promise unrealistic returns to their investors.
Then, things became even worse when the men behind the scheme decided to develop a cryptocurrency project to raise funds.
They made very similar promises with Argyle Coin, reportedly telling investors that putting their money into their diamond-backed cryptocurrency was a “risk-free” venture, while once again using that money to back other investors.
Sadly, the investors were left out in the cold when the project never materialized, and the Ponzi scheme came crashing down. This is just the latest in over a dozen lawsuits against the failed crypto project.