The fake “Brazilian Bitcoin King” Claudio Oliveira has been arrested for allegedly masterminding $300 million crypto scam
The Brazilian Federal Police have busted a self-described “Brazilian Bitcoin King,” Claudio Oliveira, and a crypto scheme that allegedly took away at least 1.5 billion Brazilian reais (about $300 million) from over 7,000 victims.
The fake “Brazilian Bitcoin king” has been arrested together with his wife
According to a report by Brazilian newspaper O Globo, after a nearly three-year investigation, authorities were able to gather enough evidence to arrest Cláudio Oliveira. Oliveira served as president of Bitcoin Banco Group, a well-known financial firm that made its name during a cryptocurrency boom by promising extraordinary profits for those who trusted it with their funds.
Luxury cars seized by Brazilian Federal Police
At the end of 2019, Bitcoin Banco Group reported the disappearance of 7,000 BTC and applied for a judicial reinstatement order – a special arrangement agreed to by Brazilian authorities in which the company reorganized finance and governance to be able to pay creditors and avoid bankruptcy.
During this time, however, the company continued to provide its usual services while failing to explain the reasons behind the disappearance of tokens. Instead, it presented an updated version of its platform, assuring clients that the tokens were there. According to a lawyer acting on behalf of Bitcoin Banco clients, there were inconsistencies between the amounts expressed by the company and what audited data showed. The firm also failed to provide wallet data that could clear up the issue.
While all of this was happening, the Federal Police formed a task force of 90 officers to investigate Bitcoin Banco, dubbed “Operation Daemon”. They then concluded that funds from the group’s clients had been irregularly transferred to Oliveira’s personal account.
Claudio Oliveira, who was at the helm of the fraudulent Grupo Bitcoin Banco company, was among those arrested Monday together with his wife. In total, the Federal Court has issued 22 seizure warrants.
In addition to arresting him, the Federal Police confiscated several assets owned by Oliveira, including luxury cars, jewelry, bags of cash, and cryptocurrency hard wallets.
The Federal Police launched an investigation into the company back in 2019. The law enforcement agents determined that the cyberattack story was bogus and discovered that the gang was involved in embezzlement, money laundering, and other crimes.
The bad actors went to great lengths to deceive their victims, even creating their own Fortnox blockchain that was meant to control the customers’ funds.
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