Diamond business ICO and Ponzi scheme halted by the SEC
The SEC announced that it obtained a court order against Natural Diamonds Investment Co., Eagle Financial Diamond Group Inc A/K/A Diamante Atelier, Argyle Coin, LLC, Jose Angel Aman, Harold Seigel, and Jonathan H. Seigel (“Defendants”) alleging a $30 million Ponzi scheme conducted with the use of fraudulent ICO.
According to the SEC complaint, in 2017, the Defendants performed an ICO of Argyle Coin promising the investors a risk-free investment backed by colored diamonds and the use their funds to develop the cryptocurrency business. The sale of Argyle Coin was not registered with the SEC.
In addition, in early 2014, Mr. Aman already had been selling unregistered securities to investors with similar promises of return based on the company’s investment in diamonds. That offering was not registered with the SEC either.
And instead of investing in diamonds as was promised to the ICO investors, the Defendants misused and misappropriated more than $10 million of raised funds to pay prior investors their purported returns, which constitutes a Ponzi scheme, and to pay for Mr. Aman personal expenses, including rent of his home, purchases of horses, and riding lessons for his son. The complaint charges Defendants with various violations of the securities law. The SEC’s complaint seeks disgorgement of allegedly ill-gotten gains and prejudgment interest from Natural Diamonds, Eagle, Argyle Coin, Aman, Harold Seigel, and the relief defendants, and financial penalties against Natural Diamonds, Eagle, Argyle Coin, Aman, Harold Seigel and Jonathan H. Seigel.