USI-Tech co-founder Horst Jicha has been arrested in Florida.

Jicha was indicted under seal on August 23rd, 2023.

On December 21st, the DOJ filed a motion seeking limited unsealing of Jicha’s indictment.

The stated reason for the request was

for the limited purpose of disclosure to and by law enforcement personnel, including foreign authorities and the International Criminal Police Organization (“INTERPOL”), for use in locating or arresting the defendant.

On December 26th, the court ordered Jicha’s indictment be unsealed to the public. News of Jicha’s arrest in Florida broke a few hours ago.

As reported by Local10, Jicha (right)

was booked into the Broward County jail Friday on a U.S. Marshals hold and was no longer listed in local jail records as of Wednesday morning.

Jicha, a German national with ties to Brazil and Spain, appears to have been arrested within 24 hours of his indictment being initially unsealed for law enforcement.

Jicha’s indictment cites USI-Tech co-founders Ralf Gold (right) and Joao Severino as co-conspirators.

We can’t confirm for sure yet but Gold and Severino are assumed to have been indicted alongside Jicha.

Co-Conspirator 1 and Co-Conspirator 2, individuals whose identities are known to the Grand Jury, were executives of USI-Tech.

As at time of publication, both Gold and Severino remain at large.

USI-Tech itself was an MLM Ponzi scheme launched in 2016. The original model used forex trading as a ruse.

That lasted about a year, prompting a cryptocurrency reboot in July 2017.

Following regulatory fraud warnings from British Columbia, Texas, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Manitoba, USI-Tech collapsed for a second time in December 2017.

This prompted a third reboot, this time built around a “Tech Coin” ICO. USI-Tech would go on to completely collapse a month later in January 2018.

In a January 22nd, 2018 marketing video, Jicha claimed “USI-Tech never did anything illegal in the United States”. Shortly thereafter, Jicha stopped communicating with USI-Tech victims and went into hiding.

Jicha’s indictment cites him as CEO of USI-Tech, a Ponzi scheme that defrauded consumers out of “approximately 1774 bitcoin” (worth ~$94 million at the time of Jicha’s indictment).

In addition to USI-Tech’s co-founders, an “an American USI-Tech distributor” is also cited in Jicha’s indictment.

Individual 1, an individual whose identity is known to the Grand Jury, was an American USI-tech distributor who made numerous in-person and online presentations promoting USI-Tech alongside defendant Horst Jicha.

Promotion of USI-Tech was headed up by Mike Kiefer.

In addition to being a German national, Kiefer also reported died back in August (I know that’s the same date the USI-Tech indictments were filed but I’m chalking that up to a coincidence for now).

Either way we can rule Kiefer out as the “American USI-Tech distributor” cited in Jicha’s indictment.

Notable US nationals who promoted USI-Tech include Dan Hunt, Rodney Burton, Faith Sloan and Frank Calabro Jr.

Jicha’s indictment goes on to further narrow down the cited American USI-Tech distributor.

In or about August 2017, USI-Tech held a “USA Kickoff” at a hotel and casino in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, attended by USI-Tech investors and potential investors.

The defendants Horst Jicha, Co-Conspirator 1 and Individual 1 all spoke at the event.

During the event, Jicha and Individual 1 assured the audience that USI-TEch was legal and was not a “scam” or a “Ponzi scheme”.

Individual 1, with Jicha standing by his side, told the audience, “Literally, we have been on the phone for hundred of hours, spent I don’t even know how much money, to make sure that everything is completely legal in the U.S.”

Individual 1 explained, “Horst and I went around the country and we searched out and found the very top SEC attorney … in the country. The very, very, best and the very, very top.”

Jicha and Individual 1 then showed the audience excerpts of an opinion letter written by this “very top SEC attorney”, purportedly verifying the legality of USI-Tech.

While USI-Tech had obtained an opinion letter from an attorney, this presentation misled the audience regarding the scope, breadth and premise of the legal opinion, and provided false assurances about the legality of the company’s operations.

As documented by BehindMLM, the cited USI-Tech legal opinion was from the law firm Hart & David.

The document amounted to Hart & David rubber-stamping securities fraud. Perhaps tellingly, Hart & David don’t exist anymore.

More importantly, footage of the event is still available and reveals “Individual 1” is Dan Hunt.

Dan and wife Patti Hunt used the money they stole through USI-Tech to fund “RV life” retirement.

The latest episode of the Hunts’ RV Life podcast was uploaded on December 27th, 2023.

It is unclear whether Dan and Patti Hunt are facing any USI-Tech related charges.

Getting back to Jicha’s indictment, filed in the Eastern District of New York;

Beginning in or around the Spring of 2017, Horst Jicha and his co-conspirators began aggressively promoting USI-Tech in the United States.

Jicha and his co-conspirators promoted USI-Tech both online and through in-person presentations that took place in the United States and targeted U.S. investors, including investors located in the Eastern District of New York.

Jicha’s indictment charges him with

  • one count of securities fraud conspiracy
  • one count of securities fraud
  • one count of wire fraud conspiracy and
  • one count of money laundering conspiracy

Forfeiture of Jicha’s USI-Tech ill-gotten gains is also sought.

BehindMLM is now tracking Jicha’s USI-Tech criminal case. Stay tuned for updates, along with any news on Ralf Gold and Joao Severino.


Update 12th June 2024 – Horst Jicha’s USI-Tech trial has been scheduled for January 13th, 2025.


Update 21st June 2024 – Ralf Gold has been found dead in Brazil.