Brazil’s ‘Bitcoin Pharaoh’ Ordered to Reimburse Conned Investors With $3.7B (Report)
The Brazilian authorities reportedly ordered Glaidson Acácio dos Santos (known as “Bitcoin Pharaoh”) to deposit 19 billion BRL (nearly $3.7 billion) in court. This sum will be transferred to more than 122,000 investors and creditors who have become victims of his fraudulent cryptocurrency scheme.
Last year, the Brazilian Federal police organized a special mission called “Operation Kryptos,” following which they halted Santos’ illegal activities. In addition, they confiscated $28.7 million worth of digital assets and around $3.6 million in cash and various luxury items.
‘Bitcoin Pharaoh’ Has 48 Hours
A recent coverage by the Brazilian media outlet Grupo Globo revealed that Judge Rosália Monteiro Figueira of the 3rd Federal Criminal Court of Rio de Janeiro ordered Glaidson Acácio dos Santos to deposit approximately $3.7 billion. Thus, the businessman and former pastor (popular with his pseudonym “Bitcoin Pharaoh”) will refund 122,072 investors who lost their funds due to his pyramid crypto scheme.
As per the authorities’ ruling, Santos has 48 hours to transfer the amount. Once deposited in court, the money will be distributed to individuals who claim to be victims. It is worth noting that the debt payment will be accepted only if “Bitcoin Pharaoh” can prove the lawful origin of the funds.
Santos’ attorney Ciro Chagas complained about Judge Figueira’s order, saying the payment conditions are inconsistent with “the company’s reality.”
“Interprets the flow of inbound and outbound transactions in the company’s accounts throughout of years as if the balance was due. Therefore, the defense manifests its disapproval with the aforementioned decision, which will certainly be reviewed,” he added.
Not long ago, Santos displayed his intentions to run as a Federal Deputy for the Christian Democratic Party. Last week, though, a Brazilian court unanimously ruled that he should stay away from politics for his involvement in a bitcoin scam.
The Largest Crypto Seizure in Brazil’s History
In August 2021, Brazil’s Federal police ceased the activities of Santos’ cryptocurrency investment company and arrested him and four other individuals in one of Rio de Janeiro’s most expensive neighborhoods.
According to the authorities, the firm promised investors a return of up to 15% of the invested assets, but in exchange, “Bitcoin Pharaoh” and his partners allegedly used those funds to purchase expensive watches and luxury cars.
Over the course of the operation, the police confiscated those items along with $28.7 million in cryptocurrencies, which made the headlines as the largest crypto seizure in the history of the South American nation.
I’m a journalist who specializes in investigative reporting and writing. I have written for the New York Times and other publications.