AWS Mining and NovaTechFX Accused of $1 Billion Scam

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  • New York Attorney General Letitia James has initiated legal action against two cryptocurrency companies and their promoters
  • The lawsuit claims AWS Mining and NovaTechFX exploited Creole-speaking church members, defrauding them of over $1 billion
  • James has alleged the schemes impacted over 11,000 investors

New York Attorney General Letitia James has initiated legal action against two purported cryptocurrency companies and their principal promoters for allegedly orchestrating pyramid schemes that mainly targeted Haitian immigrants in the US. The lawsuit, filed on Thursday, claims that the two schemes—AWS Mining and NovaTechFX—exploited Creole-speaking church members through WhatsApp group chats, swindling investors out of over $1 billion. James alleges that the perpetrators “promised financial freedom but instead stole their money and drained their life savings,” with more than 11,000 investors affected.

AWS Mining Promised 200% Return

The first alleged scheme, AWS Mining, an Australian firm, operated from 2017 until its collapse in 2019, promising investors a 200% return on their investment in cryptocurrency mining within 13 to 15 months. Promoters of AWS Mining, including Florida-originated couple Cynthia and Eddy Petion, now based in Panama, received a 10% commission from the investments they attracted, along with additional bonuses and honorary titles.

The Petions emerged as top promoters for AWS Mining, each reportedly recruiting over 200,000 investors to their network, earning them the ceremonial title of “President,” according to the lawsuit.

NovaTechFX Raked in $1 Billion

Following AWS Mining’s downfall in April 2019, the couple founded a new venture, NovaTechFX, with Cynthia as CEO and Eddy as COO. NovaTechFX presented itself as a cryptocurrency and foreign exchange trading platform, promising up to 4% weekly returns.

In their new venture, the Petions allegedly recruited former AWS Mining promoters, including Martin Zizi, James Corbett, and Frantz Ciceron, who are also named as defendants in the lawsuit. Similar to AWS Mining, NovaTechFX compensated its promoters with a percentage of the investments they attracted.

Between August 2019 and April 2023, investors poured over $1 billion into NovaTechFX, according to the complaint. In June 2022, shortly before attracting the attention of state securities regulators (who subsequently issued cease-and-desist orders for fraud and securities violations), the Petions discreetly sold their Florida home and relocated to Panama, as stated in James’ lawsuit.

Cynthia allegedly advised her promoters to leave the US, telling Zizi, “Leave the country. They can’t serve you if they can’t find you lol.”

Promoters Preyed on Religious Sentiment

By December 2022, following the collapse of the crypto exchange FTX, numerous NovaTechFX investors sought to withdraw their funds. In February 2023, the company halted withdrawals, and by May, it had shut down, failing to return deposits to “tens of thousands” of investors, resulting in “hundreds of millions of dollars in losses.”

The lawsuit asserts that the Petions and their associates primarily targeted Haitian immigrants in religious communities. Cynthia Petion dubbed herself “the Reverend CEO” and claimed that God gave her the vision for NovaTechFX. Promoters likened her to Harriet Tubman, asserting she guided thousands to financial freedom.

However, privately, the founders disparaged their investors as “a cult,” with Cynthia referring to herself as a “Zookeeper” and mocking the investors’ loyalty and lack of critical thinking.

Petitions Declared Bankruptcy in 2011

Court records indicate that the Petions previously filed for bankruptcy in 2011 due to consumer debt. The lawsuit’s affinity fraud allegations echo those against EminiFX founder Eddy Alexandre, who defrauded Haitian religious communities in a similar scheme and was sentenced to nine years in prison for commodities fraud in 2023.

James has accused AWS Mining, NovaTechFX, the Petions, and the other named promoters of violating New York’s Martin Act, persistent fraud, and repeated illegality. The lawsuit seeks damages and restitution for the victims, along with a permanent injunction barring the defendants from future investment schemes.

Earlier this year, a class action lawsuit was also filed against NovaTechFX and Cynthia Petion. Currently, there are no criminal charges against the Petions or the other promoters.