IcomTech Ponzi Scheme Promoters Convicted in New York, Facing Two Decades in Prison

David Brend and Gustavo Rogriguez, promoters of the fraudulent crypto mining and trading facility IcomTech, were found guilty of conspiracy to commit wire fraud by a New York jury on Friday, according to a press release from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

IcomTech Offered False Promises To Investors

Launched in 2018 by David Carmona, IcomTech falsely promised investors daily returns for investing in the company’s crypto-related services, including crypto mining and trading.

According to the press release,  the company did not invest victims’ funds as promised, but used them to pay off other victims “to further promote the schemes, and to enrich themselves.”

Two defendants convicted at trial for participating in cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme “IcomTech”@HSINewYork https://t.co/KL7vjJuzc1

— US Attorney SDNY (@SDNYnews) March 15, 2024

Rodriguez was hired to design IcomTech’s website while Brend and other promoters “traveled throughout the United States and abroad, where they hosted lavish expos and small community presentations aimed at luring victims to invest in the schemes.”

“IcomTech defrauded tens of thousands of people out of tens of millions of dollars,” said U.S. Attorney Damian Williams. “It offered the false promise of easy riches based on supposed cryptocurrency investments but wound up cheating working people out of their hard-earned money.”

Blocking Victims’ Access To Funds

The fraudsters went so far as wearing luxury clothing and driving expensive cars when attending large-scale cryptocurrency events, where they “boasted about the amount of money they were earning” while encouraging “victims to invest as a means of achieving financial freedom.”

Following their investment, victims could log into an online portal where they could purportedly “monitor” their funds. By August 2018, however, investors no longer had access to them—preventing them from withdrawing their funds from the crypto mining and trading company’s website.

“Despite these complaints, IcomTech promoters, including Brend, continued to promote IcomTech and accept victims’ investments, and Rodriguez, continued to maintain the website,” the press release continued.

Facing Two Decades Behind Bars

In light of investor complaints, IcomTech launched their own “Icom” token, claiming they “would eventually be worth a significant amount of money when they were accepted by companies for payment for goods and services.”

The tokens were “essentially worthless,” however, prompting “further financial loss to victims.”

News of Brend and Rodriguez’s convictions come just two months after fellow promoter and IcomTech CEO Marco Ruiz Ochoa was sentenced to five years in prison for his role in the crypto ponzi scheme.

Brend and Rodriguez are facing a maximum sentence of twenty years in prison. Their sentences are scheduled for June 27 and June 28, 2024.

“This verdict should send a clear message to those who engage in Ponzi schemes — whether in the cryptocurrency markets or elsewhere — that this Office is committed to rooting out fraud in all its forms and holding those responsible to full account,” Williams concluded.

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