Joshua David Nicholas has been ordered to pay $3.3 million in restitution.
The order follows Nicholas pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud last September.
That plea led to a 51 month prison sentence, handed down a few months later in November.
As reviewed by BehindMLM in June 2021, EmpiresX was a ~$100 million Ponzi scheme.
Nicholas was part of EmpiresX’s corporate team, initially appearing as “Master Trader” Joshua Greg.
Following the revelation that this was a stolen identity, Nicholas reverted to using his actual name.
As per Nicholas’ March 7th amended judgment he “will pay the amount of $3,379,527.18”.
During the period of incarceration, payment shall be made as follows:
-if the defendants earns wages in a Federal Prison Industries job, then defendant must pay 50 of wages earned
-if the defendant does not work … then the defendant must pay a minimum of $25 per quarter towards the financial obligation
Upon release of incarceration, the defendant shall pay restitution at the rate of 10% of monthly gross earnings, until such time as the court may alter that payment schedule in the interests of justice.
These payments do not preclude the government from using other assets or income of the defendant to satisfy the restitution obligations.
As per his plea agreement, Nicholas has already surrendered $312,246 tied to EmpiresX.
In addition to his criminal case, Nicholas is also a defendant in civil proceedings brought by the SEC, CFTC and EmpiresX victims.
Last September Nicholas settled with the civil class-action. There was no monetary component to the settlement.
Judicial priority between the civil class-action and regulatory EmpiresX lawsuits has yet to be resolved.
In October 2022 both the SEC’s and CFTC’s EmpiresX cases were stayed, pending service on co-founders Emerson Pires and Flavio Goncalves.
Upon learning they were under investigation, Pires and Goncalves fled the US for Brazil. This prompted the SEC and CFTC to initiate international service via the Hague Convention.
Brazilian authorities informed the CFTC in early February that they were unable to locate Pires. A similar outcome for Goncalves is expected, after which the CFTC has stated it intends to file for service via publication.
If approved and executed, that would pave the way for the CFTC to file for default judgment at a later date.
The SEC is a bit behind but a similar outcome with respect to Hague service is expected.
Outside of their respective civil EmpiresX civil cases, Pires and Goncalves remain fugitives wanted by US authorities.
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