These Brazilian Soccer Players Became Victims of a Cryptocurrency Scam (Report)

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These Brazilian Soccer Players Became Victims of a Cryptocurrency Scam (Report)

The professional Brazilian soccer players – Gustavo Scarpa, Mayke Rocha de Oliveira, and Willian Bigode – have reportedly lost over $5 Million owing to investing in an alleged fraudulent digital currency company was known Xland.

The company stated it did not run a pyramid scheme and promised to reimburse the victims.

Athletes Have Fallen Victims

Scarpa – Brazilian soccer player who plays for Premier League club Nottingham Forest – and Mayke Rocha de Oliveira (better known as Mayke) – who competes at Brazil’s Serie A team Palmeiras – were supposedly urged to join Xland as investors by Willian Bigode. 

The platform promised returns of up to 5 percent a 30 days, but it seems like it drained the players’ investment. Scarpa distributed 6.3 Million reais (around $1.2 million), while Mayke parted with 4 Million reais ( approximately $757,000). Both players filed complaints with the police plenty of months ago. Scarpa recently commented:

“I’ve always seen stupid people fall victim to pyramid schemes and scams. Finding myself in a situation like that is horrible.”

Bigode – a previous teammate of the victims at Brazil’s reigning champion Palmeiras – rejected persuading the players to invest in Xland. He stated he is likewise a victim of the supposed scam, losing 17.5 Million reais (over $3.3 million):

“I’m not a scammer, I didn’t take anyone’s money. I’m a victim, as well, because I haven’t gotten my own money back to this day.”

Vinicius Salva – lead investigator on the case – stated there was “strong evidence” that Xland operated as a pyramid scheme. On the other hand, the company rejected those states, saying the investor losses resulted from the demise of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX Trading Ltd in November 2022. Xland likewise vowed to restore the soccer players’ funds.

Several of Brazil’s Largest Cryptocurrency Scams

The largest nation by landmass in South America has evolved a hotbed for digital currency schemes in the previous few years. 

The local authorities detained Claudio Oliveira, a.k.a. “The Bitcoin (BTC) King,” in 2021 on suspicion of swiping 7,000 Bitcoin from clients of his Bitcoin (BTC) Banco Group. The investigators argued that he transferred the stolen assets to his personal wallet. Upon his arrest, the police confiscated hard wallets belonging to Oliveira, alongside high-end cars and a huge amount of cash.

Brazil’s law enforcement agencies carried out a similar operation last year, halting the operations of a criminal organization led by the businessman Francisco Valdevino da Silva, better known as the “ Bitcoin (BTC) Sheikh.” Per the accusations, the gang’s members lured people to join their cryptocurrency platform, promising them up to 20 percent returns on their investment.

The investigation, named “Operation Poyais,” estimated that the wrongdoers stole a considerable amount of funds from victims throughout the years and laundered $766 Million worth of digital currencies. 

Featured Image Courtesy of Nottingham Post


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