Joshua David Nicholas pleads guilty to EmpiresX fraud
Joshua David Nicholas has plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud.
Nicholas played “Master Trader” in EmpiresX, through the misappropriated alias “Joshua Gregg”.
Nicholas signed his EmpiresX plea agreement on September 8th.
As per the agreement, the DOJ has agreed to dismiss Count 1 of his indictment, pertaining to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
The DOJ has also agreed “to not bring up any additional charges related to (Nicholas’) involvement with EmpiresX”.
Nicholas has agreed to assist the DOJ with ongoing EmpiresX related proceedings. This namely relates to securing convictions against EmpiresX’s fugitive founders, Emerson Pires and Flavio Goncalves.
Nicholas will also surrender $312,246, ill-gotten proceeds traceable to EmpiresX.
BehindMLM reviewed EmpiresX in June 2021, correctly identifying it as a Ponzi scheme.
Through indictments against Nicholas, Pires and Goncalves filed in June 2022, the DOJ would later confirm EmpiresX was a $100 million Ponzi.
Having fled to Brazil, Pires and Goncalves remain at large. EmpiresX investor losses have been pegged at just over $40 million.
The same day Nicholas filed his guilty plea he was released on a $50,000 bond. Nicholas will be subject to home confinement with limited exceptions pending sentencing.
Sentencing has yet to be scheduled but Nicholas faces up to five years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.
Update 28th September 2022 – The court accepted Nicholas’ guilty plea on September 26th.
Sentencing has been scheduled for November 28th.
Update 29th November 2022 – Joshua Nicholas’ has been sentenced to 51 months in prison (4.25 years).