The SEC recently issued a final judgment against Jose Angel Aman, the mastermind behind three Ponzi schemes involving uncut colored diamonds and cryptocurrency. The order involves disgorgement of $4.2 million in ill-gotten gains and legal fees of $325,033. Additionally, the criminal case ordered him to pay restitution of $23.9 million, which includes the $4.2 million disgorgement.
In a case that repeats like so many before it, Jose Aman, along with his partner first began offering unsolicited securities in about May 2014. Their two Palm-Beach based companies, Natural Diamonds and Eagle Financial Diamond Group Inc. collected $25 million from investors.
The draw was investing in the company that would purchase raw, uncut colored diamonds, cut them, then resell the alleged stones at a significant profit. The principal would be returned within two years with an alleged 24% rate of return.
The men assured investors that their investments were safe because the money was secured by Aman’s diamond inventory that was alleged to be worth $25 million. When the investment periods ended, Aman would convince the investors to “roll over” their money into new investments. Their “reinvestment contracts” allowed them to keep the scheme going until they could find new investors and raise additional capital to pay out.
When the Natural Diamonds scheme had run its course, Jose Aman created the new entity, Eagle Financial Diamond Group.
More than $10 million of investor money was misappropriated for primarily personal expenses. These included payments to Aman’s church and pastor, shopping, as well as horses and riding lessons. The rest, in true Ponzi fashion, was used to pay the previous investors.
Argyle Coin was the cryptocurrency company the men founded to link and back their own form of cryptocurrency with diamonds. They also claimed that they would create a new class of ICO (initial coin offering) to guarantee the performance of the company’s blockchain. Actually, Argyle Coin was a way for Aman to buy more time for finding new investors to pay the old ones. Investors were told that their investments were free of risk because of the stash of diamonds in Aman’s safe deposit box.
Aman pleaded guilty to criminal charges in September of 2018, and the SEC filed its suit in West Palm Beach in 2019. The suit claimed that more than 300 investors in both the US and Canada were convinced to invest in these three companies based on these untruths.
Some $2.1 million was reclaimed from the West Palm Beach based Winners Church International, of which Jose Aman was an official.
Scott Silver Served As Counsel To The SEC Receiver
Silver Law Group represents investors in securities and investment fraud cases. Silver Law Group played a unique role in this case working with the SEC Receiver as counsel to help recover money for defrauded investors. Our lawyers are admitted to practice in New York and Florida and represent investors nationwide to help recover investment losses due to stockbroker misconduct. If you have any questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney. Most cases are handled on a contingent fee basis, meaning that you won’t owe us until we recover your money for you. Contact us today and let us know how we can help.