The Proud Boys sedition Trial currently underway in Washington D.C. has thrown up an unlikely conspirator of the January 6, 2021 Capitol attack: the self-described “Godmother of the Miami Crypto scene” Eryka Gemma Flores.
According to a New York Times report, Flores sent Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio a document titled “1776 Returns” a week before the riot.
This damning document outlined a plan for storming the Capitol, including occupying key government buildings, and is a crucial piece of evidence in the prosecution of Tarrio and four other Proud Boys members demonstrating the attack was planned sedition and not a spontaneous, unorganized protest gone wrong.
Text messages introduced as evidence in the trial purport to show that an “Eryk-A” transmitted the document to Tarrio around 12:50 p.m. on December 30, 2020, along with the message:
“If you don’t like my plan, let me know. I will pitch elsewhere. But I want you to be the executor and benefitor of my brilliance.”
Eryka allegedly also told Tarrio that “the revolution is more important than anything,” shortly after sending the insurrection plan.
Who is Miami’s ‘crypto’ queen of sedition?
Miami-based digital currency venture capitalist Eryka Gemma Flores founded Timelock Ventures, a smaller venture capital and advisory firm, and the Bitcoin Center, a tech education hub in Miami. She was also a board member of the Florida Blockchain Business Association (FBBA) while advocating for digital assets in the state.
According to the Miami New Times, Flores is a self-described libertarian, the ideological inclination to which she attributes her affinity for blockchain technology—ironically, her Women in Technology International profile also attributes her interest in blockchain to an appreciation for “honest politics.”
Flores’ current Twitter bio states that “paradigm shifts create prosperity,” so perhaps it’s not too hard to see how this ‘paradigm shifting’ libertarian might have connected with former Proud Boys leader and fellow Miami resident Enrique Tarrio.
The extent and nature of the pair’s relationship is unclear, but court document in Tarrio’s trial have described Flores as a “romantic interest” of the would-be seditionist, and one witness described Flores as a former girlfriend of Tarrio’s.
Authoring a riot
The “1776 Returns” document that Flores is alleged to have sent Tarrio, and which is now a core component of the seditious conspiracy charge against him, was introduced in the trial as being transmitted from “Eryk-A” but when describing the messages, federal prosecutors have referenced the sender as “Erika Flores.”
Further testimony pointing to Flores as the likely source of the 1776 Returns document came from Samuel Armes, president of the Florida Blockchain Business Association, who testified before a congressional committee on July 18 last year that he believed the 1776 Returns plan was derived from a “war-gaming” document that he shared with Flores, an acquaintance he knew through the Florida digital currency community.
Armes, a former analyst for the U.S. State Department and trained intelligence operative, claimed his document was a thought experiment in what would happen if a sitting president refused to leave office and told the committee that Flores had taken his ideas as “an inspiration, and her or some group of people then turned it into 1776 Returns.”
Flores appears to have largely kept her head down since the beginning of the inquests but has claimed that Armes authored the 1776 Returns plan and asked her to share it with Tarrio—a claim the committee took up with Armes, whose response was, “I guess she’s just blame-shifting.”
Flores has not yet been charged in the Capitol attack Trial, but as a now suspected mastermind of the plot, she will surely be in the prosecutors’ crosshairs.
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