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Instagram Influencer Jay Mazini Sentenced to 7 Years for $8 Million Fraud Scheme

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Jabara Igbara, commonly known as “Jay Mazini,” who boasted of being a crypto millionaire on Instagram, has been sentenced to seven years in prison by U.S. District Judge Frederic Block.

The sentence on wire fraud and money laundering charges also mandates Igbara to forfeit $10 million.

Jay Mazini Labelled a “Crypto Con Man”

According to the United States Attorney’s Office, Igbara, 28, carried out multiple fraud schemes and scammed investors of at least $8 million. He pleaded guilty to the charges in November 2022.

United States Attorney Breon Peace stated that Igbara’s prosecution revealed him as a fraudster who used his social media popularity to con investors out of millions of dollars. Peace added that Igbara targeted his religious community, exploiting their trust to spend and gamble their hard-earned money. The hope is that today’s sentence will deter fraudsters like Igbara from victimizing investors for personal gain, he added.

Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Special Agent-in-Charge Thomas Fattorusso characterized Igbara as a “crypto con man” who created a fake online presence to convince unsuspecting victims to invest in his schemes.

Fattorusso noted that Igbara conned the New York Muslim community out of millions and subsequently spent and gambled the funds away. He emphasized that Igbara’s actions disregarded the victims of his scam, but the sentencing ensures that he will spend years in prison for his criminal acts.

Igbara Orchestrated Overlapping Fraud Schemes

From 2019 to 2021, Igbara maintained a prominent presence on Instagram as “Jay Mazini,” garnering nearly one million followers. He portrayed himself as a prosperous investor and entrepreneur while sharing content related to his Muslim faith, presenting himself as devout.

Igbara showcased his alleged wealth by sharing videos on Instagram in which he distributed large sums of cash to shoppers in grocery store checkout lines, fast-food restaurant employees, and a woman he encountered at the airport who had lost her purse.

Operating through a company named Halal Capital LLC, Igbara executed an investment fraud scheme targeting members of the Muslim-American community in New York. He solicited funds from them for purported investments in stocks, electronics resale, and the sale of personal protective equipment. In reality, Igbara was orchestrating a Ponzi scheme, diverting nearly all the funds for personal expenses, luxury vehicles, and gambling.

Igbara then began a second fraudulent scheme to maintain the illusion of profitability and retain investors. He advertised on his Instagram and other social media platforms that he would pay above-market prices for various cryptocurrencies.

After receiving cryptocurrency from victims, Igbara would fabricate wire transfer confirmations, falsely indicating that he had sent money for the cryptocurrency as promised. In reality, no payment was made, and Igbara was simply pocketing the cryptocurrency sent by his victims.

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