An Instagram creator known for posting videos of himself handing out cash pleaded guilty to fraud charges after he was accused of scamming $8 million from investors, the Department of Justice announced.
Jebara Igbara, known online as “Jay Mazini,” could face up to 20 years in jail when sentenced. He was charged with wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracy and money laundering.
Officials claim that Igbara, a 27-year-old who lives in New Jersey, was operating a Ponzi scheme and used investor money for personal expenses and gambling. Igbara was accused of defrauding members of the Muslim-American community in New York by soliciting funds for investments in stock, electronics resale, and coronavirus-related personal protective equipment.
The Department of Justice said that Igbara would post on social media that he was willing to pay above-market prices for cryptocurrencies. He would then send victims altered images of wire transfer confirmations but never actually sent payment. Instead, Igbara was “merely stealing the cryptocurrency sent by his victim,” to pay his investors, officials say.
“The defendant has admitted to leveraging his Instagram popularity to prey upon innocent investors and steal at least $8 million of their hard-earned money,” said Breon Peace, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. “This office is committed to bringing scammers to justice.”
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