The Federal Police (PF) of Brazil is said to have paused the transactions of a crypto organization that officials claim swindled thousands of individuals worldwide and embezzled hundreds of millions of dollars in illicit funds.
Though authorities did not name any suspects, local Brazilian media recognized the organization's leader as businessman Francisley Valdevino da Silva, dubbed the "Bitcoin Sheikh," and the head of a digital asset investment platform that reportedly siphoned funds from more than ten countries.
On Thursday, law enforcement officers raided 20 addresses linked to the entity after a participatory investigation with US authorities believed the group of embezzling up to $769 million over many years, according to the authorities.
The company allegedly assured victims that a hugely experienced group of crypto specialists would take their assets and return monthly returns of 20%. According to the FP, the alleged fraudsters even provided a cryptocurrency token that lacked backing and liquidity.
Police Da Silva, connected to over 100 companies in Brazil, invested a large portion of the funds from his alleged crypto-asset investment Ponzi scheme in gold bars, luxury cars, and luxury watches throughout the country.
After his victims' funds ran out, Da Silva began to postpone and soon stopped paying monthly yields obligated to pay to clients, as well as blocking withdrawals on his platform.
Da Silva's attorney told local news outlet g1 that his client is willing to continue providing clarification on his activities with the scope of proving the efficient regularity and lawfulness of daily operations.
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