Bitcoin pyramid schemes wreak havoc on Brazil’s ‘New Egypt’

    Associated Press

    CABO FRIO, Brazil (AP) — In April, Brazil’s federal police busted two men and a woman loading a chopper with 7 million reais — $1.3 million — in neatly packed bills. The detainees told police they worked for G.A.S. Consulting & Technology, a cryptocurrency investment firm founded by a former waiter-turned-multimillionaire and the central figure in one of Brazil’s biggest-ever alleged pyramid schemes. Police say the company owned by Glaidson Acácio dos Santos had total transactions worth at least $7 billion from 2015 through mid-2021 as part of a Bitcoin-based Ponzi scheme that promised investors 10% monthly returns. Prosecutors have identified at least 27,000 victims in Brazil and seven other countries, including the U.S., United Arab Emirates, the U.K. and Portugal.

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