Instagrammer Jay Mazini allegedly defrauded followers of $2.5M in Bitcoin

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TL;DR breakdown:

  • Instagrammer Jay Mazini has been jailed for allegedly defrauding his followers of $2.5 million in Bitcoin.
  • The investigators noted that his philanthropic videos weren’t actually what it seems to be.

A popular Instagrammer, Jay Mazini, formally known as Jebara Igbara, is currently being detained for criminal offenses that include defrauding his followers of millions of dollars in Bitcoin. As NBC New York reported on Thursday, the 25-year-old Instagrammer’s popularity stemmed from the philanthropic videos he made, where he gave away tons of cash to people.  

Mazini also made headlines last year after he tipped thousands of dollars to fast-food workers in New Jersey.

Jay Mazini accused of Bitcoin scam

As part of his philanthropic move, Jay Mazini offered to purchase Bitcoin from his Instagram followers at rates that are about 3.5 percent to 5 percent higher than the market value of the cryptocurrency, according to the investors. Instead of paying as promised, the Instagrammer paid the followers below the actual price of the cryptocurrency in the market.

Between January to March 2021, he allegedly defrauded his followers a total of $2.5 million via the fake Bitcoin transaction. At least about four of his followers have been identified as victims, and authorities are searching for more potential victims. While speaking on the development, the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York FBI, William F. Sweeney, Jr., noted:

“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.”

Jay Mazini is being held in jail for some other charges, according to NBC New York.

NY hacker sentenced to 20 years imprisonment

New York authorities don’t take crypto-related offenses very lightly. Last year, a 28 years old hacker, Vitalii Antonenko, was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for money laundering via digital currencies. The investigators noted that he laundered about $94 million in Bitcoin from two cryptocurrency wallets.

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