Entrepreneurs are suspected of selling financial assets, similar to those offered by investment funds, with promises of monthly profits of up to 20%. The amounts applied by savers, however, were not really intended for the purchase of bitcoins, according to investigations.
The indications are that the company, which had its website disabled two years ago, operated through a Ponzi scheme, a type of financial pyramid, in which the amounts applied by new investors were used to reimburse older “customers”.
The 28.22 bitcoins that were actually seized were sold this week, between Monday (2) and Wednesday (4), for R$ 5,767,449.44. The amount collected has already been passed on to the courts to be used in the process to reimburse investors harmed by the scheme, as explained Marcelo De Callis, legal coordinator of the Bitcoin Market, who carried out the negotiation.
“We performed the procedure at market price validated in court, following some guidelines so as not to lose value. There were nine sales of three bitcoins and one residual sale. More than R$ 5.7 million were collected, which were deposited in court and are in the process available to the Judiciary. And it was totally pro-bono, not least because the intention is to help the Judiciary with this issue of crypto and prevent values from being locked in.”
On Tuesday (3), the Federal Police chief, Guilherme Helmer, responsible for the case, had already clarified that the cryptocurrencies would be sold at market cost. Today, the price of a single bitcoin exceeds R$ 203.5 thousand.
The sale of assets had been discussed since the beginning of the operation, but only in the last few weeks was a conclusion reached on the sale model.
“The sale is being carried out on the Bitcoin Market, and not on an auction site, for example, so there is no loss of value, fee payable by auctioneer, in order to guarantee the greatest amount of resources to pay people harmed by the scheme ”, explained the delegate at the time.
According to investigations released in 2019, the asset manager acted clandestinely, as it had neither the Securities Commission (CVM) nor the Central Bank’s authorization to operate with the sale of securities. The name of the suspicious business, kept confidential by the authorities, came to light after the removal of the web page.
Investigations began in 2018. The company, however, had been operating since 2017 as a stockbroker, selling investments linked to bitcoins similar to the famous stock funds. Among the company’s clients were people from Espírito Santo and other states.
In all, five people are investigated, one in Acre, one in Mato Grosso do Sul and three in Espírito Santo. The owner of the company, who lives in the state, was also known for being the leader of an evangelical church. So far, no one has been arrested.
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