Authorities in Brazil have closed a fake Bitcoin investment platform after reports that the scheme had successfully ripped off its investors to the tune of 1.5 billion Brazilian reals (about $359 million). The action was announced by the government of Paraná state, in a recent official publication.
Per the report, a raid was conducted by the Paraná Civil Police (PCPR) on Thursday morning as they invaded a company based in Curitiba, Paraná’s capital and largest city. The scam was mostly perpetrated via social media platforms, convincing unsuspecting victims of juicy daily returns up to 4%. Convinced investors then transferred funds to the company and eventually couldn’t withdraw the funds anymore. The publication suggests that about 5,000 victims were affected.
The organization was not named by the publication, but it states that the “criminal group” will face charges including document forgery, criminal association, and money laundering, among others.
Heavy suspicions began when the company reached out to its victims claiming that it had fallen into the hands of scammers in Argentina and had lost $20 million, adding that investors would not be able to access their funds for six months. After six months, investors still couldn’t access their funds and the deadline was further extended.
Back in June, the Department of Federal Revenue of Brazil (RFB) in a bid to stem fraud had mandated all crypto exchanges to inform regulators about user transactions.
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