Each of Emerson Pires, Flavio Goncalves, and Joshua David Nicholas has been charged with fraud in connection with EmpiresX.
The EmpiresX Ponzi scam was co-founded by Pires and Goncalves. Joshua Nicholas collaborated with them to feign trade.
Interestingly, the DOJ estimates that “approximately $100 million” was lost in EmpiresX’s Ponzi scam. This is more than the SEC and CFTC’s respective projections by $60 million.
Pires, Goncalves, and Nicholas are the targets of concurrent civil complaints from both regulators.
For Mining Capital Coin, a Ponzi scam he co-founded before EmpiresX, Pires is also being sued by the SEC.
Pires, Goncalves, and David are facing criminal allegations of conspiring to conduct wire fraud and securities fraud. Additionally accused of conspiring to commit money launderings are Pires and Goncalves.
EmpiresX, a cryptocurrency investment platform, and unregistered securities offering was launched by Pires and Goncalves.
The so-called “Head Trader” of the business, Nicholas, together with Pires and Goncalves, misrepresented EmpiresX.
That deceived investors over a variety of topics, including a putative proprietary trading “bot” they claimed could provide EmpiresX investors with guaranteed profits.
According to the charges in the indictment, Pires and Goncalves then used a cryptocurrency exchange with a foreign location to launder investors’ money before using a Ponzi-style scheme to pay off early EmpiresX investors with monies received from later investors.
In June 2021, BehindMLM examined EmpiresX and accurately recognized it as a Ponzi scam.
Pires, Goncalves, and Nicholas could each spend up to 25 years in jail if found guilty on all counts.
HSI and the FBI are looking into the matter.
Pires and Goncalves left the United States for Brazil after realizing they were under investigation.
Both are citizens of Brazil, which does not extradite its people.
US citizen Joshua Nicholas last resided in Florida, according to records.
Unknown is Nicholas’ present situation. The DOJ has not yet officially announced his arrest.
Even though we are aware that the EmpiresX indictments have been released, Pacer did not yet receive them. If not, they should go up the next week after the Fourth of July holiday.
Given the fact that Pires and Goncalves have fled to Brazil, it’s possible that their indictment won’t be made public until after talks with Brazilian officials. I’m not yet sure how it will turn out.
I’ll provide a separate piece if the EmpiresX indictments are interesting. Otherwise, keep an eye out for an update with further information below.
Update: July 2, 2022. I can’t access the Pacer indictments. I’ll check back mid-next week.
If they are still unavailable, it would appear that they have been submitted under seal while the US and Brazilian governments are in negotiations.