Action 9

‘Train of excuses’: Consumers accuse Central Florida YouTuber of running a Ponzi scheme

ORLANDO, Fla. — A Central Florida YouTuber made big promises about making big money in cryptocurrency, but many investors claim those were just empty promises.


Manny Delgado was pushing an online investment project involving digital currency. “We have officially hit over one million on our contract balance,” Delgado touted on one video.

He seemed to be celebrating raising his first million dollars in the investment. He went on to say, “We want to say, ‘Thank you to all of our members, all of the people who are part of Crypto Gem Trading.”

Delgado was active on both YouTube and Discord last year trying to convince people to invest with him.

He launched a few businesses here in Florida including Crypto Gem Trading LLC and Prosperity Gem Mining, Inc. Both businesses have the same address in Winter Garden.

READ: ‘I just started crying’: Family loses everything to home rental scam

Delgado claimed to be doing crypto mining, crypto trading and even selling merchandise to raise money.

Manuel Perez from Tallahassee reached out to us after he said he invested money in the project.

“Many YouTubers recommended this project. He (Delgado) was a known YouTuber,” Perez told Action 9′s Jeff Deal.

Perez and other investors claim Delgado promised returns of 2% a day with the option to pull the funds out with just a few days’ notice.

READ: Action 9: Auto dealer inventories could mean big savings for consumers

Perez said, “I deposited five figures, important figures with them, and it was all my savings.”

Investors claim Delgado brought in as much as $60,000,000 from people around the world, then suddenly stopped paying when they wanted to pull their money out.

Action 9 received complaints from across the globe and people went online criticizing Delgado.

One YouTuber said in a video, “We gave our money to this idiot, Manny Delgado… this moron.”

READ: Teen, 5 others arrested for scheme involving cryptocurrency, the dark web, and guns

Florida’s Office of the Attorney General has already received a couple of complaints about Delgado’s businesses.

An investor from Bakersfield, California even filed a lawsuit in Orange County, Florida referring to the investment project as a Ponzi scheme. The suit claims Delgado paid off early investors with the new money coming in. The suit also alleges the plaintiff invested around $56,000 and Delgado represented to him that the money had grown to more than $117,000 when that wasn’t true.

When an Action 9 crew showed up at Delgado’s Winter Garden home, they saw a moving truck in the driveway.

A man who appeared to be Manny Delgado walked away from the truck and toward the house. He just kept walking away when consumer investigator Jeff Deal tried to get his side of the story.

Deal said, “Manny, Jeff Deal from Channel 9. Can we talk to you real quick? A lot of people tell us you owe them a lot of money. Manny, do you have anything that you want to say about this case?”

The man never responded and walked into the home.

Investors point out Delgado went back on social media for a while denying it was a Ponzi scheme and claiming he was going to issue refunds back in April.

At one point, Delgado is heard saying on a video, “There’s a small delay on the withdrawal from the wallet.”

While some investors said they were refunded, many claim Delgado simply made excuses and they still haven’t received any of their money back.

Investor Neil Fortier from Tampa said, “It was like a train of excuses.”

Certified Financial Planner Joe Bert doesn’t recommend investing in crypto, especially with people who just promote it online.

Bert said, “Investing is long term. This is pure speculation. You may as well be buying baseball cards.”

He also pointed out that returns of 2% a day are impossible to sustain and said big promises like that are often a red flag for investors. “And unfortunately, people buy into that, and this is what happens, people get burned,” he said.

Deal also tried to contact Delgado by phone to get his side of the story but was unable to reach him.

Jeff Deal

Jeff Deal,

I joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in 2006.