D.C. man charged with running a Ponzi scheme that involved a diamond-backed token

South Florida federal prosecutors have charged a D.C. based man with wire fraud after he allegedly operated a Ponzi scheme and claimed to be developing a diamond-backed token. Jose Angel Aman allegedly made over $25 million. 

From May 2014 to 2019, Aman and others allegedly solicited investments for diamond contracts, in which they promised money would be used to purchase diamonds that Aman would clean, cut and resell for profit. The Department of Justice (DOJ) claims Aman and his partners presented the investment as high return with no risk since the investments were to be backed by Aman's diamond inventory. 

The DOJ claims Aman used incoming investor money to pay previous investors' interest payments, convincing others to funnel their money into new fraudulent deals to keep the cycle going. When the cycle began to collapse, Aman looked for new investors for his Argyle Coin, LLC, which planned to develop a crypto token backed by diamonds.


Keep up with the latest news, trends, charts and views on crypto and DeFi with a new biweekly newsletter from The Block's Frank Chaparro

By signing-up you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy
By signing-up you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy

The DOJ claims he used only a small portion of money from these new investments for the purpose of creating a token, with the remainder used to pay previous investors in his earlier diamond scheme and the rest used for personal gain.

The Securities and Exchange Commission sought and received an emergency court order in May 2019 against the Argyle Coin ICO. 

Aman has already made an initial appearance before the court in West Palm Beach. 

About Author

Aislinn Keely is a reporter on The Block's policy team holding down the legal beat. She covers court decisions, bankruptcies, regulatory actions and other key moments in the legal sphere, putting them in context for the wider crypto industry. Before The Block, she lent her voice to the NPR affiliate WFUV and helmed Fordham University's student newspaper. Send tips or thoughts on all things policy and legal to [email protected] or follow her on Twitter for updates @AislinnKeely.

More by Aislinn Keely