25 September 2023 |
The Haitian Times reported in July that Eddy Alexandre, the CEO of EminiFX (a crypto-currency investment company), was sentenced to nine years in prison by US District Judge John P. Cronan for orchestrating a Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors of nearly $250 million. Alexandre has also been ordered to pay nearly $214 million in restitution to EminiFX’s investors.
The scheme, previously reported on by Adventist Today, targeted about 25,000 people, most of whom were Haitian Adventist churchgoers familiar with Alexandre due to his role as a chaplain at Maranatha Seventh-day Adventist Church in Queens. Many victims were lured by Alexandre’s false promise of robot-assisted trading software, which purportedly offered weekly returns between 5% and 9.99%.
Despite hundreds of letters attesting to Alexandre’s trustworthiness, Judge Cronan emphasized the CEO’s betrayal, pointing to the luxury vehicles and a $4.8 million Manhasset, Long Island, home Alexandre purchased with fraudulent funds.
Alexandre pleaded guilty in February 2023 and has since been collaborating with a court-appointed receiver to recover and return stolen funds. Addressing the court, Alexandre expressed regret for his actions and pledged to make amends. Ultimately, he received a sentence one year less than the maximum agreed upon in his plea deal, with the decision informed by the calculated nature of the fraud and the use of sophisticated methods to recruit and incentivize members.
On September 6th, a Town Hall meeting was held by David Castleman, the court-appointed receiver tasked with recovering and returning funds seized from EminiFX. In the meeting via YouTube, he explained in great detail what made the situation fraudulent and shared how his team had been able to recover $153.7 million for investors. On September 14th, The Haitian Times detailed ten takeaways from the meeting, citing mismanagement of investor funds, fraudulent returns, exorbitant company expenses, and the framework of the Ponzi scheme, among others.
While investors still aren’t sure when they will receive the entirety of stolen funds, Castleman and his team are focused on transaction reconciliation and the claims process for the foreseeable future, with a distribution plan to follow, subject to court approval.