The CFTC has sued scammers behind the EmpowerCoin, ECoinPlus and JetCoin Ponzi schemes.

Defendants Dwayne Golden, Jatin Patel, Marquis Demarking Egerton (aka Mardy Eger) and Gregory Aggesen, stand accused of stealing millions through the scams.

  • Dwayne Golden is a US citizen residing in Florida
  • Jatin Patel is an Indian citizen residing in Maharashtra
  • Mardy Eger is a US citizen residing in North Carolina
  • Gregory Aggesen is a US citizen residing in New York

The CFTC’s complaint spans conduct alleged to have taken place between April and August 2017.

The complaint details the defendants working with an unnamed accomplice, who appears to be cooperating with US authorities.

As alleged by the CFTC, Dwayne Golden (right), Jatin Patel and Mardy Eger ran EmpowerCoin.

Reviewed here on BehindMLM in May 2017, EmpowerCoin promised investors a 200% bitcoin ROI in 90 days or less.

After EmpowerCoin collapsed it was rebooted as ECoinPlus.

Golden, Patel, Greg Aggesen and the unnamed accomplice ran JetCoin.

I believe the accomplice is JetCoin Master Distributor Scott Chandler but can’t say for sure.

Chandler was sued by the FTC for promoting and profiting JetCoin and other Ponzi schemes in 2018.

Again reviewed her on BehindMLM in June 2017, JetCoin promised investors a 200% ROI in 40 to 50 days.

JetCoin’s reboot switched out the fixed return model for daily return rates.

EmpowerCoin, ECoinPlus and JetCoin represented external revenue was generated via trading.

JetCoin 2.0 dropped the trading ruse. There was no attempt to even pretend it wasn’t a Ponzi scheme.

In their complaint the CFTC confirms no trading took place.

As in all Ponzi schemes, Defendants’ payouts of supposed profits to customers in actuality consisted of other customers’ misappropriated funds.

The Ecoinplus Defendants did not employ traders and, in fact, did not trade Bitcoin; and because the guaranteed returns and commission payments were entirely fictitious because those amounts could only be paid to the extent that new customer investments were available to be redistributed to existing customers.

The JetCoin Defendants did not employ traders and, in fact, did not trade Bitcoin; and because the guaranteed returns and commission payments were entirely fictitious because those amounts could only be paid to the extent that new customer investments were available to be redistributed to existing customers.

EmpowerCoin and ECoinPlus took in $23.2 million from consumers.

Dwayne Golden, Jatin Patel and Mardy Eger stole over 42% of funds invested into EmpowerCoin and ECoin Plus ($9.86 million).

JetCoin took in $21.7 million.

Golden, Patel, Greg Aggesen (right) and their unnamed accomplice stole over 36% of funds invested into JetCoin ($7.884).

Through this conduct, Defendants were engaged, are engaging, or are about to engage in manipulative and deceptive acts with respect to contracts of sale of a commodity in interstate commerce, in violation of Section 6(c)(1) of the Commodity Exchange Act (the “Act”), as amended, 7 U.S.C. § 9(1) (2018), and Regulation 180.1(a), 17 C.F.R. § 180.1(a)(1)-(3) (2020).

Internal communications presented by the CFTC demonstrate the defendants were aware they were running scams.

In on May 2017 voice message (the recipient isn’t disclosed), Golden stated EmpowerCoin

could not continue operating as it had because he had already “shifted a lot of the money into other programs”, which meant they could not continue to pay commissions as guaranteed.

In response to this, Patel suggested he and Golden

only take money for themselves from newly invested bitcoin as a way to keep the scheme going, noting that the bitcoin in the system was the “lowest so far since we started” and that they had each made more than half a million dollars at that point.

Later that same day Patel alternatively suggested they and Eger (right)

begin “paying” themselves their misappropriated shares of customer bitcoin investments on “profit” rather than on “gross – that is, to take their shares after making Ponzi payments to other customers instead of before doing so – in an effort to keep the operation running longer.

Patel noted, “We made a lot of money the last few days, we can wait to take more money.”

On June 1st, 2017, Patel stated in a voice message that

EmpowerCoin and ECoinPlus could continue operating “as long as members keep joining”.

Wanting to profit off fraud but not be associated with it, Golden complained to Patel after he was tied to EmpowerCoin.

In a voice message to Patel on May 10, 2017, Golden complained that his name was associated with EmpowerCoin’s domain registration and that EmpowerCoin members were saying that he owned the company.

He told Patel that the website was “supposed to be registered outside the country”; and he urged Patel to “undo” the registration, saying he hoped it was an accident that his name was associated with the registration.

In a message to Egerton on May 16, 2017, an employee of Golden’s firm noted that she would be setting up “an anonymous Gmail” to handle customer emails through a virtual private network so that “it’ll be untraceable to us.”

In a voice message to Golden on May 25, 2017, the same employee noted that the team responding to customer emails had been instructed not to communicate any information about the ownership of Ecoinplus and that all the individuals operating the company needed to maintain their anonymity.

In a voice message on June 13, 2017, Golden encouraged
Patel to make sure to “keep your distance” from being associated with Empowercoin/Ecoinplus.

EmpowerCoin’s reboot, ECoinPlus, collapsed in July 2017.

Of the $9.86 million stolen, Dwayne Golden received $1.27 million. Jatin Patel received $7.2 million and Mardy Eger received $1.21 million.

JetCoin was a similar story, with Golden and Patel the link between the two scams.

Golden and Patel took efforts to keep Eger unaware of their involvement in JetCoin and, vice versa, to keep Aggesen and the accomplice unaware of their involvement in EmpowerCoin/ECoinPlus.

Although both were relatively short-lived, there was some overlap between ECoinPlus collapsing and JetCoin’s launch.

Golden said in a voice message to Patel on May 24, 2017 that he did not want to create an “imbalance” between the two entities because “we’re making good money from both” and referred to the two
entities as “rival enemies”.

Just in case there was any doubt the scammers knew what they were doing;

On June 1, 2017, Golden said that he loved JetCoin but knew it had “a termination date,” that it would not work long term, and that it was built for “quick money.”

In a voice message on June 30, 2017, Aggesen told the Accomplice that the biggest mistake in operating JetCoin was that they did not “stick with the story” that “there was trading going on.

He noted that both men knew the purported trading “wouldn’t support any system anyway over a long period of time” and compared it to a different, earlier scheme that he called a “Ponzi.”

In a voice message to Aggesen on July 1, 2017, the Accomplice said, with respect to “people who want to sit by and earn money without doing anything,” that “no one believes in that crap,” meaning that the passive guaranteed payouts should have been obviously fictitious to potential customers.

Likewise, in another voice message, Aggesen said to the Accomplice, “This whole thing about coming in and putting your money into something and making money for nothing, that’s such a joke. I didn’t have time to think about the whole concept here, the thing went so quick, with or without trading.”

In a message on July 2, 2017, the Accomplice told Aggesen that JetCoin required new customer investments in order “to stay alive,” and that if the site did not receive 250 Bitcoin each day, it would collapse or require the operators to pay out of their own pockets.

JetCoin payment problems began in early June 2017.

In a voice message to Golden on June 13, 2017, Patel predicted that the next day or the day after would be the last day JetCoin would be able to make the guaranteed daily and commission payments to customers.

In an attempt to keep the Ponzi going, by the end of the month JetCoin daily payments were reduced from 4-5% to 1.1%.

This rate was bumped to 3.3% for affiliates who convinced others to invest 20 BTC of new volume into JetCoin.

JetCoin collapsed by the end of the month.

JetCoin 2.0 was launched the following month but was again short-lived.

The JetCoin Defendants and the Accomplice permanently shut down the JetCoin website in or about August 2017 and stopped responding to customer complaint inquiries.

The JetCoin Defendants and the Accomplice took efforts not to be associated with the websites for fear of customer backlash.

For example, after a voice message on June 30, 2017, in which Aggesen complained about “getting beat up” by JetCoin customers, the Accomplice proposed on July 1, 2017 that he and Aggesen tell customers that they were introduced to JetCoin by Patel and that they did not know who the owners were.

Of the $7.884 in JetCoin funds kept by the admins;

  • Dwayne Golden received $1.128 million
  • Jatin Patel received $4.896 million
  • Aggesen received $1.351 million
  • the unnamed accomplice received $509,000

JetCoin 2.0 was rebooted as My Digital BTC in August. My Digital BTC had collapsed by mid-September.

The CFTC’s complaint alleges two counts of use of a manipulative or deceptive device or contrivance.

The CFTC seeks a permanent injunction against the defendants, as well as disgorgement, restitution, a civil monetary penalty plus post-judgment interest.

Parallel criminal proceedings against the defendants have been filed by the DOJ.

Stay tuned for updates we track both cases.


Update 9th March 2022 – The CFTC’s case is now up on Pacer.

The case was filed on March 8th and as of yet there’s no substantial updates. I’ll check back in a few days.