An Instagram influencer and two associates kidnapped a man in Bergen County, then stripped him naked and held a machete to his neck while threatening to kill him if he didn’t remove negative social media posts, authorities charged.
Jebara J. Igbara, 25, told the victim that a video of the kidnapping would be released to social media if he didn’t do what he was told, they said.
Earlier this week, federal authorities in Brooklyn charged Ibarra with scamming four of his nearly 1 million followers out of Bitcoin virtual currency by sending them worthless wire transfers in exchange for more than $2 million.
Known as “Jay Mazini,” Igbara claimed a net worth of $33 million while cultivating a reputation for distributing stacks of cash to random people in New York.
He’d only recently been released from the jail after 10 days following a Feb. 23 arrest in Garfield for driving while suspended, records show.
Igbarra was back behind the wheel of his white 2020 Land Rover on March 15 when he picked up the victim at the 7-Eleven on Palisade Avenue in Cliffside Park on the pretense of wanting to talk over coffee, a complaint on file in Superior Court in Hackensack says.
The victim, also 25, had apparently trashed him online, it says.
He got hinky when two unnamed associates of Igbarra got into the SUV, so he got out and sped off – with the trio in pursuit.
Once they caught him, the man was beaten and shoved into the Land Rover, the complaint says.
“Stripping [the victim] naked and holding a machete to [his] neck,” they told the man to remove the negative social media postings – and not tell the authorities – or they’d kill him, it says.
They also said “a video of the encounter would be released to social media” if he didn’t do what he was told, the complaint says.
Then they dropped him off with his things in the city of Passaic, saying they would kill him if he told the authorities, it says
The victim was hospitalized with a concussion, a swollen eye, a left ankle injury and various other bumps, cuts and bruises, authorities said.
Fort Lee police nabbed Igbara two days later on charges that include kidnapping, aggravated assault, endangering an injured victim, weapons possession and luring.
He’s remained held in the county lockup since then, but will be turned over to the FBI – who’ve placed a detainer on him -- once he’s released from the Bergen County Jail. His Instagram account has also been deleted.
“Igbara’s social media persona served as a backdrop for enticing victims to sell him their Bitcoin at attractive, but inflated, values,” said William F. Sweeney Jr., the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s New York Field Office. “A behind-the-scenes look, however, revealed things aren’t always as they seem.
“There was nothing philanthropic about the Bitcoin transactions Igbara engaged in with his victims. A quick search of the Interwebs today will reveal an entirely different image of this multimillion-dollar scammer.”
The two unnamed accomplices in the abduction were still unaccounted for as of Friday, a law enforcement source told Daily Voice.
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