Instagram influencer known as “Jay Mazini” sentenced to 84 months in prison for overlapping fraud schemes


Defendant capitalized on his social media persona to commit fraud, including a scheme that bilked the Muslim community out of over $8 million

Date: April 24, 2024


Earlier today, in federal court in Brooklyn, Jebara Igbara, also known as “Jay Mazini,” was sentenced by United States District Judge Frederic Block to 84 months in prison for wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracy and money laundering arising out of multiple schemes that resulted in millions of dollars in loss to trusting investors. Igbara pleaded guilty to the charges in November 2022. As set forth in the information, up until March 2021, Igbara maintained a popular Instagram account under the name “Jay Mazini,” where he would post videos depicting, among other things, occasions during which he would hand out large amounts of cash to various individuals as gifts. In reality, Igbara was perpetrating overlapping fraud schemes, scamming investors out of at least $8 million. As part of his sentence, Igbara was ordered to pay $10 million in forfeiture. The amount of restitution will be determined at a later date.

Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Thomas M. Fattorusso, Special Agent-in-Charge, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, New York (IRS-CI), and James Smith, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), announced the sentence.

“The prosecution of Igbara unmasked him as a fraudster who used his social media popularity to con investors out of millions of dollars,” stated United States Attorney Peace. “Shamefully, he targeted his own religious community, taking advantage of their trust in him so he could spend and gamble their hard-earned money. Hopefully today’s sentence will influence fraudsters, like this defendant, to think twice about the consequences before they victimize investors for their own benefit.”

“Igbara was a crypto con man. He not only created a fake online presence to purport that he was a wealthy crypto investor, he used his Instagram persona as proof of success when convincing his unsuspecting victims to invest in his schemes. He conned a New York Muslim community out of millions then simply spent it and gambled it away. Igbara had no regard for the victims he affected with his scam, but today’s sentence means that this crypto swindler, along with his social media persona, will now spend years in prison for his criminal acts,” stated IRS-CI Special Agent-in-Charge Fattorusso.

Igbara maintained a popular social media presence on Instagram, calling himself “Jay Manzini,” with nearly one million followers during the offense period of 2019 to 2021. The defendant portrayed himself as a successful investor and businessman, and also posted material relating to his Muslim faith, portraying himself as religious. Igbara touted his purported wealth by posting videos on his Instagram account showing him handing out large sums of cash to shoppers waiting on the checkout line in grocery stores, individuals working in fast food restaurants and a woman he met at the airport who had lost her purse.

Igbara perpetrated an investment fraud scheme via a company called Halal Capital LLC. The scheme targeted members of the Muslim-American community in New York by soliciting their money for purported investments in stock, electronics resale and the sale of personal protective equipment. In reality, Igbara was operating a Ponzi scheme, and misappropriated nearly all of the money for his personal expenses, luxury vehicles and gambling. To raise money in order to pay his investors “returns,” and keep them on the hook, Igbara also perpetrated a second fraudulent scheme, wherein he posted on his Instagram and other social media accounts that he was willing to pay above-market prices for various cryptocurrencies. He would then send his victims doctored images of wire transfer confirmations that purported to show he had sent money for the cryptocurrency as promised, when in reality, the payment was never sent, and Igbara was merely stealing the cryptocurrency sent by his victim.

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Business & Securities Fraud Section. Assistant United States Attorneys Lauren Howard Elbert and Joshua Dugan are in charge of the prosecution.