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Brazilian Police Charge 23 Co-Workers in ‘Crypto Pyramid Scam’

A military police officer in the Brazilian state of Goiás is on trial for allegedly defrauding fellow officers with a crypto-themed scheme.

Globo media reported that the officer, named Francisco de Assis Jesus dos Santos Soares de Oliveira, was accused of defrauding some 23 military police officers out of more than $192,000.

Citing a lawyer for the alleged victims of the purported scam, the media explained that Francisco had promised his colleagues that they would earn up to 30% a month if they trusted him. We invest in cryptocurrencies for them.

He has also told fellow officers that he will use sports betting platforms and promised that the funds will be managed securely on UK-based and readily available IT platforms. to them whenever they want to withdraw.

The attorney claimed that over time Francisco’s statements became more and more bizarre, explaining that:

At first, he promised a profit of up to 30%. But when he saw victims seeking a refund, he went as far as to say ‘business’ was going well. And then he started talking about profits up to 50%.

The lawyer added that Francisco is also providing his colleagues with “advice and advice” on crypto-related investments.

The trial is still ongoing and is being conducted in a closed court, according to military police regulations. Goiás State’s Military Police Department told the media that it has “taken all appropriate measures” and is now “monitoring the process in court.”

The military court has frozen several of Francisco’s bank accounts and will freeze the funds until a verdict is reached.

The lawyer claimed that Francisco was stationed at the Rotam Battalion in Goiânia, the state’s capital and largest city. Reportedly, he was stationed there for more than a year before his arrest last Thursday.

The lawyer added that Francisco began trying to scam victims last July and had continued to scam colleagues until October.

In the alleged victims’ complaint filed in court, the lawyers wrote that Francisco “told his colleagues that he would take full responsibility if they suffered damages”.

However, after making some initial payments, Francisco allegedly stopped giving money to his fellow officers. When his colleagues challenged him on the matter, Francisco allegedly said the funds had been “blocked due to technical problems.”

Francisco then allegedly asked his colleagues for an additional $400 to help solve the problem. When they denied the claim, he allegedly promised to pay them by December 20, 2021 – a promise he later reportedly failed to keep.

The attorney argued that Francisco had the money stored somewhere, because “there is no evidence that he bought goods such as cars or real estate” with investors’ money.

Another media outlet, Metropoles, reported that Francisco had “created” a bogus tech platform to place at the heart of the scam and provide it with a layer of authentication. He also allegedly asked victims to accumulate a minimum of $1,900 in stakes – and attempted to create a “pyramid” structure whereby “bigger” investors would “earn” get more”.

The lawyer concluded:

His victims trusted him, so they tried to invest as he suggested.