STJ decides that Bitcoin pyramid in Jundiaí should be evaluated by the state court

The Superior Court of Justice (STJ) ruled that the Bitcoin pyramid “Ferraz e Souza Serviços de Intermediações a Empresas Ltda“, which operated in Jundiaí, should be under the jurisdiction of the state court.

In June 2020, this company had already drawn the attention of local authorities, when a case of lightning kidnapping associated with the leader and investors of the scheme drew attention.

According to Jornal da Região (JR), five men approached a luxury vehicle and followed it to a location. A child and an elderly woman were released on the way, but the victims were the parents of the fraudulent company leader’s ex-wife.

The group demanded that R$ 200,000 be sent to release the victims from captivity, but witnesses who witnessed the kidnapping had already contacted the PM. The kidnappers, investors in the Bitcoin investment scheme, ended up trapped in a neighborhood of the city.

The case was seen by the police as an attempt to “take justice into their own hands”, as investors did not seek to file a complaint against the company at the civil police station.

However, other victims sought out the Civil Police of the State of São Paulo, which opened a police inquiry into the case.

STJ decides that state court in Jundiaí should handle pyramid case with Bitcoin

The leader of the scheme and the target of the police investigation is Márcio Dener de Souza, partner of “Ferraz e Souza Serviços de Intermediações a Empresas Ltda.”, which raised funds from investors in the market by offering 35% profit per month.

In current jurisprudence, when there are cases of financial pyramids, the state court is the one who must handle the case. These crimes against the popular economy are evaluated by the judiciary as embezzlement.

But with the opening of the investigation by the civil police of São Paulo, the court of law of the 2nd Criminal Court of the Judiaí District of the TJSP declined jurisdiction, stating that only the Federal Court would be able to handle the case.

The decision ended up at the STJ, which heard the Federal Public Ministry and Federal Justice, as well as the Criminal Court of Jundiaí.

“In the case under analysis, the criminal dynamics described in the notitia criminis indicates that a commercial establishment would have induced a payment institution to make an error, causing harm to others for its own benefit. In this context, it is identified, in theory, the practice of the crime of embezzlement in the face of a private legal entity, with no interest of the Union, even if reflex, that could justify the competence of the Federal Court, pursuant to art. 109, IV, of the Federal Constitution”.

Upon hearing both parties about the conflict of jurisdiction between state and federal justice over the Bitcoin pyramid, Justice Joel Ilan Paciornik decided that the Criminal Court of Jundiaí is responsible for monitoring the case.

It is worth remembering that Precedent No. 498 of the Federal Supreme Court already disciplines that the jurisdiction of the pyramids belongs to the state justice, this being Minister Joel’s second decision on the matter since 2020.