Emerson Pires, Flavio Mendes Goncalves, and Joshua David Nicholas have all been charged.
The EmpiresX Ponzi scheme is what led to the three of them being charged with crimes.
EmpiresX was launched in 2020 as a typical MLM crypto trading bot Ponzi scheme.
A grand jury’s indictment from June 30 says that Emerson Pires and Flavio Mendes Goncalves aggressively pitched EmpiresX to potential investors as a good way to make money. Pires, Goncalves, and Joshua David Nicholas lied and used fraud to promote EmpiresX’s supposed investment platform, which involved trading bots and private investments, as a simple, safe, and flexible way to invest in cryptocurrency and fiat currency.
Pires, Goncalves, and Nicholas bought and sold the EX BOT as a series of deals or schemes. This is because they advertised the EX BOT as a way to put money into a business with other investors and make money from EmpiresX’s work. So, the EX BOT was considered a “security” under the rules for offering and selling securities in the United States, and it had to be registered with the SEC.
Even though they said otherwise, Pires, Goncalves, and Nicholas never registered EmpiresX’s investment program with the EX Bot as an offering and sale of securities with the SEC, nor did they take steps to do so.
They also did not have a valid exemption from this registration requirement. To hide investors’ money and the fact that EmpiresX wasn’t making enough money on its own through the EX BOT, Pires and Goncalves used EmpiresX’s group of cryptocurrency wallets, Foreign Cryptocurrency Exchange 1, and other places to wash investors’ money from the US and other places.
About $100 million worth of investors’ money was stolen by EmpiresX in total. Pires, Goncalves, and Nicholas also used money from investors to pay for their own things, such as luxury cars, clothes from high-end stores, and attorney’s fees.
In the indictment, Pires, Goncalves, and Nicholas are each charged with one count of planning to cheat by wire;
one count of planning to cheat the stock market;
and one count of plotting to launder money in another country (Pires and Goncalves).
The DOJ wants ill-gotten gains and convictions taken away.
If found guilty, Emerson Pires and Flavio Goncalves could go to jail for 45 years and be fined up to twice as much as they stole.
Joshua Nicholas could go to prison for 25 years and be fined up to twice as much as he stole.
On July 1, a sealed filing was made the day after the EmpiresX indictment.
Docket Entry 2 is restricted or closed until further notice.
I think this might be about warrants for arrest.
When Pires and Goncalves found out that US authorities were looking into them, they both went back to Brazil. Brazil does not extradite its citizens.
Joshua David Nicholas lives in Florida and is a citizen of the United States.
Until the case docket is updated, no one knows what is going on with the three EmpireX defendants.
The SEC and CFTC have also sued Pires, Goncalves, and Nicholas on similar charges.