Javier Milei once called the central bank a “scam.” Now he’s being sued for allegedly promoting a scam of his own.
Argentina’s eccentric Bitcoiner presidential candidate is being sued for allegedly promoting a crypto ponzi scheme.
Javier Milei, a top contender to be the next president of Argentina, last year uploaded an Instagram post to his 1.3 million followers promoting CoinX, a crypto investment platform that promised huge returns to users.
The platform, which closed in June, had a huge social media following and claimed to use AI, bots, and expert traders to automate trades for investors—and make them lots of money.
In December, Milei visited their Buenos Aires offices. “They are revolutionizing the way to invest to help Argentinians with inflation,” he wrote in the Instagram post. “You can now simulate your investment in pesos, dollars or cryptocurrencies and earn a profit.”
But CoinX closed up shop after the regulatory National Securities Commission (CNV) warned that the platform had no legal right to operate in the country and ordered it to stop operations. It also hadn’t paid back investors the returns expected, local media reported.
Now, a group of disgruntled followers are seeking damages because they followed Milei’s advice and didn’t see any huge returns, Argentine daily newspaper Clarín reported over the weekend.
According to the complaint, filed by lawyer Juan Pablo Chiesa, investors are now out of pocket between 30 million to 40 million pesos (nearly $300,000).
Milei, an 51-year-old libertarian economist who favors Bitcoin and once called the central bank “a scam,” has since distanced himself from the platform, saying he didn’t trick anyone—and wasn’t paid to promote CoinX.
The eccentric congressman, who avidly posts on social media, says he wants to save Argentina, which suffers from one of the world’s highest levels of inflation. And he’s doing well: some polls put him in the top 3 candidates expected to win next year’s election.
Appearing in Instagram posts alongside dodgy crypto platforms is unlikely to do him any favors, though.