Alleged instagram scammer Jay Mazini arrested in New York
Updated: Mar 30
Jay Mazini (real name Jegara Igbara), an Instagram "influencer" with almost 1,000,000 followers who posted viral videos of giveaways of cash, cars and electronics, including one video where he and rapper 50 Cent gave bundles of cash to drive thru customers and Burger King workers, has been arrested in New York. He is accused of running a scam where he offered to buy Bitcoin at above market prices from his followers, but failed to pay for any of the Bitcoin delivered, committing wire fraud in the process.
FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney said (and well done for a straight faced use of 'Interwebs'):
Igbara’s social media persona served as a backdrop for enticing victims to sell him their Bitcoin at attractive, but inflated, values. 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
Those searches show others claim to have invested money in businesses started by Mr Mazini, with a civil claim being filed against Mr Mazini at the start of March, claiming that the giveaways Mr Mazini conducted were really investors' money being given away.
Mr Mazini is also accused of running illegal giveaways asserting he will be inserting thousands of dollars cash in orders for clothes placed with his fashion company.
Whether there will be a defence, or what it will be, in either case, remains to be seen, but the evidence of Bitcoin transfers to Mr Mazini on a public blockchain, matching the wallet addresses he provided to victims, will be difficult pieces of evidence for Mr Mazini to challenge in the criminal case. It won't be surprising if further charges and claims are brought against Mr Mazini.