Ronaldinho faces possible arrest in Brazil over Cryptocurrency fraud

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  • Ronaldinho may be detained in a Brazilian crypto fraud probe tied to his company, “18kRonaldinho,” for promising high crypto returns
  • He missed a congressional hearing, citing weather conditions, highlighting the risks of celebrity endorsements in crypto
  • The case underscores the need for vigilance against crypto fraud and the legal complexities of NFTs in celebrity ventures

Brazilian football legend Ronaldinho Gaúcho finds himself at the centre of a legal storm once again, this time in connection with a cryptocurrency fraud investigation that has captured the attention of both sports and financial news outlets. As one of the most iconic footballers of his generation, Ronaldinho’s name carries significant weight. This makes his involvement in this crypto controversy all the more intriguing and noteworthy.

Reports from Brazil reveal that Ronaldinho has been notably absent from a scheduled congressional hearing. The hearing is related to an ongoing investigation into a cryptocurrency pyramid scheme. The scheme is believed to be linked to one of his business ventures. The case has been generating headlines in Brazil and beyond, as it combines the allure of cryptocurrencies with the world of sports stardom.

Ronaldinho’s remarkable football career, which included stints with illustrious clubs like Paris Saint-Germain, F.C Barcelona, and AC Milan, has been punctuated by moments of brilliance on the pitch. However, this latest legal saga threatens to cast a shadow over his post-football endeavours—particularly those involving the cryptocurrency market.

READ: How blockchain forensics, asset tracking work to investigate fraud in the web3 ecosystem

The Brazilian’s troubles began when he failed to appear before Congress despite being subpoenaed for a second time on August 24th. His cited reason for missing the hearing was adverse weather conditions. While he has been given another opportunity to testify, set for August 31st, should he fail to show up, Brazilian law permits law enforcement officials to take him before the congressional committee forcibly.

Like many countries, Brazil’s legal landscape mandates that witnesses who receive subpoenas from Congress have a legal obligation to comply. Failure to do so can result in fines, and the police can be called upon to ensure their appearance.

At the heart of this investigation is Ronaldinho’s association with a company known as “18kRonaldinho.” This enterprise purportedly made grandiose promises to clients, guaranteeing daily returns exceeding 2% through cryptocurrency investments. However, the venture allegedly failed to deliver on these promised profits, leading to a lawsuit seeking damages exceeding $61 million. This legal action is now part of a more extensive investigation into the prevalence of cryptocurrency fraud in Brazil.

ALSO READ; Africa: The urgent need for regulations to protect crypto investors from fraud and scams

Ronaldinho’s legal defence team contends he was merely the company’s “ambassador.” Furthermore, they claim that he is another victim of the alleged scam. They argue that his image and name were exploited without proper authorization to deceive potential clients. It’s a defence that underscores the complex interplay between celebrity endorsements and the cryptocurrency industry.

This isn’t the first time Ronaldinho has found himself in legal trouble. In 2020, he and his brother, Roberto de Assis, were arrested in Paraguay for attempting to enter the country with fake passports. This incident resulted in both brothers spending over 170 days behind bars. Furthermore, Roberto de Assis is also embroiled in the ongoing cryptocurrency investigation.

The case surrounding Ronaldinho and the alleged cryptocurrency pyramid scheme raises several significant issues and questions that resonate beyond this specific legal battle:

1. Celebrity Endorsements and Cryptocurrency Ventures:

Ronaldinho’s role within “18kRonaldinho” underscores the challenges of celebrity endorsements in the cryptocurrency industry. It is worth noting that many cryptocurrency ventures seek celebrity endorsements to leverage the fame and trust associated with these personalities. However, this case highlights the potential risks of such endorsements when things go awry. Investors attracted to cryptocurrency projects due to celebrity associations may be particularly vulnerable.

2. Cryptocurrency Fraud and Legal Consequences:

The lawsuit seeking substantial damages against “18kRonaldinho” is a stark reminder of the financial harm that cryptocurrency fraud schemes can inflict on unsuspecting investors. Promises of exorbitant returns in cryptocurrency are often red flags, and investors should exercise caution. Furthermore, this case emphasizes the need for regulatory oversight and investor education in the cryptocurrency sector to protect individuals from fraudulent schemes.

3. NFTs and Celebrities:

Ronaldinho’s involvement in the cryptocurrency space extends to nonfungible tokens (NFTs). Furthermore, his collaboration with INFLUXO in 2021 to launch an NFT collection highlights the growing intersection between celebrities and NFTs. While NFTs offer a unique opportunity for celebrities to monetize their brand and engage with fans, they also introduce legal and intellectual property considerations that must be carefully navigated.

4. Ronaldinho’s Legal History:

The fact that Ronaldinho has previously faced legal issues, including the 2020 arrest in Paraguay, adds a layer of complexity to the current investigation. His prior legal troubles could influence perceptions of his involvement in the cryptocurrency case. Furthermore, it may impact the outcome of the investigation.

In conclusion, the Ronaldinho Gaúcho cryptocurrency fraud investigation serves as a cautionary tale in the cryptocurrency industry. It illustrates the potential pitfalls of celebrity endorsements, the risks associated with unrealistic promises of cryptocurrency returns, and the need for robust regulation and investor education in crypto. Moreover, as cryptocurrencies continue to gain prominence, cases like this emphasize the importance of due diligence for investors and celebrities involved in crypto ventures. This will ensure responsible and lawful participation in this evolving digital landscape.


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Nathan Sialah
Nathan Sialah
Nathan Sialah is a seasoned journalist with a diverse background in digital journalism, radio broadcasting, and cryptocurrency trading. With over five years of experience in the field, Nathan has honed his skills in delivering accurate and engaging news content to a wide audience. In addition to his journalistic expertise, Nathan is a dedicated researcher in the Artificial Intelligence industry, keeping abreast of the latest advancements and trends. His multifaceted background allows him to bring a unique perspective to his reporting, covering a wide range of topics with depth and insight.