“Jay Mazini” emailed victims falsified wire transfer confirmation pages to trick them into sending him Bitcoin, the authorities allege. The promised wire transfers never arrived.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York has charged Jegara Igbara with wire fraud.
Igbara is a notable influencer on the social media platform Instagram, where he goes by the pseudonym “Jay Mazini”.
According to the charges, “Jay Mazini” used his high-profile to induce his followers to send him Bitcoin in exchange for wire transfers of cash with a 3.5% to 5% premium.
The wire fraud scheme has resulted in at least $2.5 million worth of Bitcoin stolen from the victims and, ultimately, in his arrest. He is currently being held in New Jersey.
“As alleged, Igbara used his immense social media popularity to dupe his followers into selling him Bitcoin. This Office will continue to work closely with its law enforcement partners to stop fraudsters like the defendant from perpetrating social media scams that prey on innocent victims”, said Mark J. Lesko, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.
FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney said: “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. A quick search of the Interwebs today will reveal an entirely different image of this multimillion-dollar scammer.”
“Jay Mazini” is a popular figure on Instagram. His following reached nearly one million users as he frequently posts pictures of him holding cash and giving it away. Earlier this year, he started posting videos offering buying Bitcoin from his followers at prices 3.5% to 5% over market value.
According to the charges, once his followers agreed to the terms, he would send them fake images of wire transfer confirmation pages to trick victims into sending Bitcoin in return.