Diamonds may still be a “girl’s best friend,” but for 300 or more investors in the US and Canada, there weren’t any to befriend. This week, the SEC obtained a court order to shut down a Ponzi scheme run by South Florida-based owner Jose Angel Aman, and his company, Argyle Coin.
Silver Law Group represents many of the victims in this Ponzi scheme.
Using the classic model of collecting money and paying dividends to investors with money from new investors, Aman allegedly diverted much of the collected monies to himself for personal use. The Argyle scheme is tied into two other companies he owns, Natural Diamonds Investment Co., and Eagle Financial Diamond Group Inc. Two individuals who have interests these two companies, Harold Seigel and Jonathan H. Seigel, worked with Aman to perpetuate the scheme.
“As alleged, this fraud is a continuation of a scheme Aman orchestrated with two other companies he owns, Natural Diamonds Investment Co. (Natural Diamonds) and Eagle Financial Diamond Group Inc (Eagle),” which dates back as far as May 2014, according to the SEC.
The premise of the “diamond-backed cryptocurrency” plan was that investors would be investing risk free in cryptocurrency that was backed by diamonds, including “fancy colored diamonds.” It was the same modus operandi used in Argyle Coin as well as Natural Diamonds and Eagle Financial. The diamonds, they alleged, would be cut down, polished and resold for profit. But as the SEC discovered, there were no diamonds of any color. When the original schema was exhausted, Aman ramped up his efforts, including an ICO in 2017. The plan for the ICO was to raise as much as $30M to continue the scheme and fund their lifestyle.
The SEC has a division, the SEC’s new Cyber Unit, created specifically to target initial coin offerings (ICO) and distributed ledger technology (DLT) in an effort to fight cybercrimes involving the Dark Web and cryptocurrency.
The complaint alleges that the three misused and/or misappropriated more than $10M in funds, both to pay investors and for personal use. Aman used the investor funds to pay for his rental home, horses he purchased, and his son’s riding lessons.
Although the website for Argyle Coin has been removed, the cache in Google search results still shows the website, and the meta description which says, “Argyle Coin is looking for more partnerships/investmens, therefore the Pre-ICO will be extended 21 days from its initial end date. Don’t miss the chance!”
The SEC’s temporary restraining order freezes all assets including Aman’s, other stakeholders, and that of his three companies. The agency is seeking disgorgement of all ill-gotten gains and prejudgment interest against all individuals and companies involved.
Are You An Argyle Coin Investor?
Silver Law Group represents investors in securities and investment fraud cases. 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.