From the executive offices of Cantor Fitzgerald to the studios of Bollywood, one of the most ambitious confidence games ever to hit the internet is GarzaGate: the bizarre business contortions of Homero “Josh” Garza and his clusterfuck of companies, websites and grandiose schemes.
GarzaGate may not involve the most amount of money swindled from investors but it wins the grand prize in terms of the amount of investors and number of countries involved.
And drama. GarzaGAte has got the drama. Lies and broken promises, shattered dreams, betrayal, deceit, collusion, secret deals, death threats, dead bunnies (yes, dead bunnies) and of course, Neal Rauhauser (any internet worthy scandal must involve Neal Rauhauser) the drama of GarzaGate is equal to anything you might find on Reality TV. The only thing lacking is someone taking responsibility. And apologies, those seem to be nonexistent.
Whether you fully understand what it is or not, Cryptocurrency is here to stay. It serves as a currency and payment system that bypasses banks and governments. There are little to no transaction fees, no need for a bank account and it offers anonymity as well as a standard currency that can be accepted globally. Cryptocurrency is likely to become the main method of payment on the internet so there's a lot of competition to become dominant in some aspect of cryptocurrency and attract a share of the large amount of investors looking for ground floor opportunities.
But wherever money is involved, there are con men with scams looking to separate people from their cash. Nigerian princes lurking with a good story to gain your trust and get access to your assets. Cryptocurrency is particularly vulnerable, being new and internet based, it’s vulnerable to hacking and being used in get rich quick Ponzi schemes. There’s little to no regulation, no FDIC to bail anyone out. But even for the careful investor, few people could have been prepared for Josh Garza.
GAW Miners exploded onto the digital currency scene in 2014 with GAW Miners and began offering what appeared to be innovative and exciting additions to the cryptocurrency realm. He wooed the small investor, the average Joe and Jill on the internet, by claiming he’d been ripped off by scams and promised to deliver “more of what you want, less of what you don’t”.
Garza and GAW Miners had an excellent, if unethical, marketing team that pushed the right buttons to attract investors but the company itself just never quite had the products and services it marketed. But Garza had an executive at Cantor Fitzgerald as a partner so investors believed his extravagant promises that good things were coming “soon”. Garza made grand gestures like purchasing the BTC.com website for a million dollars, he claimed partnerships with various websites and major retailers. These too eased the worries of investors and even attracted new ones.
But individuals who were more savvy in finance and cryptocurrency began getting suspicious and asking questions of GAW that often went unanswered. Those who criticized and asked questions were censored and threatened while Garza kept making promises and plans that never came to fruition.
Eventually the Securities and Exchange Commission took an interest in GAW and Garza. This was first reported by the Coinfire news site which had previously posted articles critical of Garza and Gaw Miners. Garza denied there was any investigation. The All Knowing Neal Rauhauser wrote an incredibly ironic article encouraging Garza to sue for libel and even suggested a RICO suit (right, that last one worked out so well). Outraged Garza fans retaliated against Coinfire and its editor, Mike Johnson, with threats, including death threats, Mike was sent a box of dead bunnies. The Coinfire blog was DDoSed and eventually hijacked along with the Coinfire Twitter account.
Oddly enough, much of the retaliation happened after a subpoena from the SEC was posted on the internet. Garza fans decided Coinfire was responsible for causing an investigation into Garza and his assorted businesses. Strangely, even though the SEC subpoena was available in several places on the internet, Garza and his fans still denied there was an investigation and continued with more ventures and big events to come “soon”. But then the email dump happened, 5 gigabytes of GAW emails were leaked from the SEC investigation.
The emails validated the shady and sloppy business practices of Josh Garza and his team, their dirty deals and double crosses, the realization they couldn’t deliver what they’d promised. As of this writing, besides the SEC investigation, there are also separate investigations being conducted by the FBI, DHS and IRS. And besides allegations of fraud there are also allegations of terroristic threats and money laundering for terrorist groups.
Noticeably absent in recent months are Josh Garza and Neal Rauhauser. Neal now has another reason to hide from the FBI so nothing new there but Garza is rumored to have fled to Dubai to start all over again. That may sound crazy but the emails also revealed Josh Garza has a Dubai connection via Bollywood.
Stay tuned for more on this story of GarzaGate as we take a closer look at Rauhauser’s shilling for Garza and Josh Garza’s secret connections to Bollywood and Dubai.