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Eddie Alexander, a Haitian-born individual from Valley Stream, pleaded guilty to fraud involving approximately $249 million. He utilized a Ponzi scheme to lure investors to his platform, taking advantage of the trust placed in him by his church and community, targeting vulnerable victims.
The fraudulent scheme operated for eight months, spanning from September 2021 to May 2022. Promising investors weekly returns of 5% or more, Alexander managed to attract around 25,000 people to his platform, EminiFX Inc. However, it was later revealed that the investments were part of a classic Ponzi scheme, with existing investors being paid with funds from new investors.
In his pursuit of trading investors’ money, Alexander lost $6 million and transferred an additional $14 million to his personal bank account. He also spent $155,000 on a BMW car and $13,000 on a Mercedes Benz.
Strong Backing from the Haitian-American Community
Following his arrest, Alexander received significant support from the Haitian-American community. Many members attended his court appearances, protesting the charges. They expressed their solidarity by wearing matching light green T-shirts adorned with Alexander’s image, the EminiFX logo, and empowering messages like “Together We Rise,” “Break the Chains,” and “Justice for All.”
The prosecution sought a 10-year sentence for Alexander, the maximum allowed under his plea agreement. However, the judge ultimately sentenced him to nine years. During the sentencing, Alexander’s supporters appeared disheartened, and one woman used an extra T-shirt to wipe away a tear.
Nearly Half a Billion Dollars Stolen in Six Months
In the first half of 2023, the cryptocurrency industry suffered losses amounting to $479.4 million, a significant decrease compared to the same period the previous year.
Notably, 98% of the incidents involved attacks on decentralized finance protocols (DeFi) during the first half of 2023, totaling $414 million in stolen funds. Ethereum-based projects were the primary targets, accounting for losses of $287 million on this blockchain.