Brazilian Police Issue Warrants Against Alleged Leader of $767M Crypto Pyramid Scheme


Paulo Alves is a crypto editor at InfoMoney, a leading financial news publication in Brazil.

This article is adapted from CoinDesk Brasil, a partnership between CoinDesk and InfoMoney, one of Brazil’s leading financial news publications. Follow CoinDesk Brasil on Twitter.

On Thursday, a hundred police officers took to the streets of six Brazilian cities to serve search and seizure warrants against Francisley Valdevino da Silva, who is accused of running a cryptocurrency pyramid scheme that raised $767 million.

At the time of publication, there was no news on whether he had been arrested. The justice also decreed that da Silva’s assets be seized and blocked.

According to a Brazilian Police report, da Silva, known as the “cryptocurrency sheik” and a former U.S. resident, raised more than four billion reals ($767 million) by promising high returns through alleged crypto operations since 2016.

According to a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement press relase, the Brazilian Federal Police executed 20 search and seizure warrants in four Brazilian states in the case for crimes including money laundering and fraud.

The U.S. agency said that “the organization allegedly deceived investors in over a dozen countries by falsely claiming that they had developed fully functioning, cutting-edge cryptocurrency-related financial products.”

According to the Brazilian Police report, da Silva’s lawyer said that his client is cooperating with the police and had already made himself available.

This article was translated by Andrés Engler, and edited by CoinDesk. The original Portuguese can be found here.

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Paulo Alves is a crypto editor at InfoMoney, a leading financial news publication in Brazil.

Paulo Alves is a crypto editor at InfoMoney, a leading financial news publication in Brazil.