Skip to main content
Press Release

Senior Promoter In Cryptocurrency Ponzi Scheme Pleads Guilty To Wire Fraud Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that JUAN TACURI, a senior promoter in the cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme known as Forcount (and later known as Weltsys), pled guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud before U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres.  The Forcount scheme spanned the globe and, in the U.S., principally targeted Spanish-speaking populations.  TACURI was one of the scheme’s most successful promoters and reaped millions of dollars from his participation in the fraud.  TACURI is scheduled to be sentenced on September 24, 2024, before Judge Torres.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “With this guilty plea, Juan Tacuri is being held to account for taking advantage of retail investors and selling them a fabricated investment opportunity.  Tacuri brought in millions of dollars in victim funds — funds the victims could not afford to lose — and spent it lavishly on luxury goods and real estate.  This Office will not stop pursuing Ponzi schemers like Tacuri, particularly where they target regular, working people who are in dire straits financially.”

According to allegations in the Indictment, public filings, and statements made in court:

Forcount was a purported cryptocurrency mining and trading company that promised to earn its victim-investors (“Victims”) profits in exchange for their purchase of purported cryptocurrency-related investment products.  The founders and promoters of the scheme, such as TACURI, falsely promised their Victims, among other things, that profits from the company’s cryptocurrency trading and mining would result in guaranteed daily returns on Victims’ investments and the doubling of those investments within six months.  In reality, Forcount was not engaging in cryptocurrency trading or mining, and the founder and promoters of the scheme were using Victim funds to pay other Victims, to further promote the schemes, and to enrich themselves.

TACURI traveled throughout the U.S., where he and others hosted lavish expos and small community presentations aimed at luring Victims to invest in the schemes, including in the Southern District of New York.  During larger-scale events, TACURI would present Forcount’s investment products and compensation plan, encourage Victims to invest as a means of achieving financial freedom, and boast about the amount of money he was earning, including by wearing designer clothing to such events.  The atmosphere of these events was festive and designed to generate excitement about the schemes.

Victims invested in the Forcount scheme by purchasing investment products from promoters, such as TACURI, using cash, checks, wire transfers, and actual cryptocurrency.  Following a Victim’s investment, they would be provided with access to an online portal where they could monitor their purported returns.  While Victims saw “profits” accumulate on the scheme’s online portal, most Victims were unable to withdraw any of these so-called profits and ultimately lost their entire investments.  By contrast, Forcount’s promoters, like TACURI, siphoned off, in some cases, hundreds of thousands of dollars in Victim funds, which they withdrew as cash, spent on promotional expenses for the schemes, and used for personal expenditures such as luxury goods and real estate.

At least as early as in or about April 2018, Victims who attempted to withdraw money from their online portal accounts had difficulty doing so, and when they complained to promoters, such as TACURI, they were met with excuses, delays, and hidden fees, if they were able to make any withdrawals at all.  Despite these complaints, Forcount’s promoters, including TACURI, continued to promote the fraudulent scheme and accept Victims’ investments.  As complaints mounted, Forcount began offering proprietary crypto-tokens for sale as a means of injecting liquidity into the scheme.  TACURI claimed that these tokens, known as “Mindexcoin,” would eventually be worth a significant amount of money when they were accepted by companies for payment for goods and services.  This was false.  In reality, they were essentially worthless and resulted in further financial loss to Victims.  By in or about 2021, the scheme had stopped making payments to Victims and their chief promoters, including TACURI, stopped promoting the schemes, and, in some instances, stopped responding to Victims’ complaints altogether.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York is committed to protecting the rights of crime victims.  If you believe you are a victim of the Forcount scheme, our Victim/Witness Unit can make sure that you are notified of important stages of these cases to help you exercise your rights.  You can reach them at 866-874-8900.

*                *                *

TACURI, 46, of Greenacres, Florida, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.  As part of his guilty plea, TACURI also agreed to forfeit nearly $4 million in Victim funds and certain real estate TACURI purchased using Victim funds. 

The maximum potential sentence in this case is prescribed by Congress and provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by a judge.

Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of Homeland Security Investigations.  Mr. Williams also thanked the New York City Police Department; the New York City Sheriff’s Office; the Bureau of Insurance Fraud, Property, and Casualty in the Division of Investigative and Forensic Services of the Florida Department of Financial Services; and the Florida Office of Financial Regulation for their assistance.  Mr. Williams also thanked the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Brazilian Federal Police for their assistance. 

The case is being handled by the Office’s Illicit Finance and Money Laundering Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Benjamin A. Gianforti and Michael D. Maimin are in charge of the prosecution.


Nicholas Biase, Lauren Scarff, Shelby Wratchford
(212) 637-2600

Updated June 5, 2024

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 24-199