Instagram Personality Known as “Jay Mazini” Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud, Wire Fraud Conspiracy and Money Laundering
Defendant Admits Perpetrating Fraudulent Schemes, Including Investment Scheme that Bilked Muslim-American Community Out of Over $8 Million
Earlier today, Jebara Igbara, also known as “Jay Mazini,” pleaded guilty in federal court in Brooklyn to a three count information charging him with wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracy and money laundering. As set forth in the information, up until March 2021, Igbara maintained a popular Instagram account under the name “Jay Mazini,” where he would post videos depicting, among other things, occasions during which he would hand out large amounts of cash to various individuals as gifts. In reality, Igbara was perpetrating overlapping fraud schemes, scamming investors out of at least $8 million.
Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Michael J. Driscoll, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), and Thomas Fattorusso, Special Agent-in-Charge, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, New York (IRS-CI) announced the guilty plea.
“With today’s plea, the defendant has admitted to leveraging his Instagram popularity to prey upon innocent investors and steal at least $8 million of their hard-earned money,” stated United States Attorney Peace. “Together with our agency partners, this Office is committed to bringing scammers to justice.”
“As he admitted today, Igbara deliberately operated multiple scams to cheat a multitude of investors out of their money. The FBI and our law enforcement partners are committed to stopping fraudsters of all types and holding them accountable in the criminal justice system,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Driscoll.
“All the victims in this case were promised something that was too good to be true. Those in the Ponzi scheme were all assured a high rate of return in a short amount of time, while the victims of the Bitcoin advance fee scheme were guaranteed above current market value for their Bitcoin. This multi-million dollar case is a reminder for anyone thinking of investing: Be skeptical of any investments with larger than life promises, because if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” stated IRS-CI Special Agent-in-Charge Fattorusso.
As detailed in the information, Igbara is charged with perpetrating a scheme to defraud members of the Muslim-American community in New York by soliciting their money for purported investments in stock, electronics resale, and purchases of COVID-19 related personal protective equipment (PPE). In reality, Igbara was operating a Ponzi scheme, and misappropriated nearly all of the money for his personal expenses and gambling.
To raise money in order to pay his investors “returns,” and keep them on the hook, Igbara also perpetrated a second fraudulent scheme, wherein he posted on his Instagram and other social media accounts that he was willing to pay above-market prices for various cryptocurrencies. He would then send his victims doctored images of wire transfer confirmations that purported to show he had sent money for the cryptocurrency as promised, when in reality, the payment was never sent, and Igbara was merely stealing the cryptocurrency sent by his victim.
When sentenced, Igbara faces up to 20 years’ imprisonment.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Business & Securities Fraud Section. Assistant United States Attorney Lauren Howard Elbert is in charge of the prosecution.
JEBARA IGBARA (also known as “Jay Mazini”)
Edgewater, New Jersey
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 22-CR-424 (FB)