Jose Angel Aman, 51, of Washington D.C. was charged with wire fraud on September 11. The press did not name an attorney for him.
According to the charging document, from May 2014 to May 2019, Aman and his co-conspirators solicited investors in the U.S. and Canada for unregistered diamond contracts. They allegedly told investors that their investment firm would use the funds to purchase rare colored diamonds, which they would then cut, polish, and resell at a profit.
Aman and his co-conspirators reportedly assured investors that their money was safe because it was secured by Aman’s cache of diamonds, which had an alleged value of $25 million. They presented the investment as a high-return, no-risk deal, the charging document claims.
Contrary to the alleged representations they made to their investors, Aman and his partners rarely used the funds to purchase the diamonds referenced in the investment contract. Aman purportedly never cut, polished, or resold any diamonds, and he did not have a diamond inventory worth $25 million, reports state.
Aman purportedly concealed the alleged Ponzi scheme by making interest payments to earlier investors using money he got from new investors. When an investment period ended, Aman and his partners would convince the investors to reinvest their money into new deals, according to the charging document. They allegedly provided fake “reinvestment contracts” as a tactic to buy time until Aman could lure new investors and get additional money.
When the alleged diamond investment Ponzi scheme was about to collapse, Aman reportedly set up a cryptocurrency firm called Argyle Coin, LLC that was involved in developing a cryptocurrency backed by diamonds. Aman found new investors for Argyle Coin and once more promised high rates of return for their investment with no risk.
Court filings claim he used only a small portion of the money he received from his new investors to develop a cryptocurrency. The majority of the proceeds were used to make interest payments to earlier investors and to benefit Anan and his co-conspirators.
In May 2019, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued an asset freeze and restraining order against Argyle Coin. Overall, Aman and his co-conspirators allegedly raked in over $25 million from at least 100 investors. They reportedly used that money to make promised interest payments to investors, pay commissions to partners, pay business expenses, and support Aman’s upscale lifestyle, according to court filings.
Wire fraud is the criminal offense of intentionally creating a fraudulent scheme in order to obtain money or property from consumers through the use of interstate wires. It is a serious offense, and anyone accused of committing this type of fraud in South Florida should immediately consult an experienced fraud defense attorney who can review the case and craft a proper strategy to fight the allegation.
Miami Fraud Defense Attorney