Instagram star “Jay Mazini” is facing years behind bars.
The 25-year-old influencer—legal name Jebara Igbara—has been charged with wire fraud for allegedly cheating his followers out of $2.5 million worth of Bitcoin. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York announced the charges in a press release Wednesday, claiming Mazini had tricked the victims into sending him the cryptocurrency in exchange for cash wire transfers; however, prosecutors say Maznini never paid the sellers.
Per the complaint:
“As we allege, Igbara’s social media persona served as a backdrop for enticing victims to sell him their Bitcoin at attractive, but inflated, values,” FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney, Jr. said in a press release. “A behind-the-scenes look, however, revealed things aren’t always as they seem. There was nothing philanthropic about the Bitcoin transactions Igbara engaged in with his victims. A quick search of the Interwebs today will reveal an entirely different image of this multimillion-dollar scammer… If anyone out there has information about this case, we urge you to file a complaint online at tips.fbi.gov.”
Mazini’s Instagram account has apparently been deactivated. The influencer is known for financial content and a number of viral stunts, including the time he and 50 Cent handed out $30,000 at an NYC Burger King.
Mazini faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
Sign up for the Complex Newsletter for breaking news, events, and unique stories.