Retired soccer icon Ronaldinho Gaúcho has found himself entangled in the world of cryptocurrency, as he recently testified at a congressional hearing in Brazil to disavow any association with a purported crypto pyramid scheme bearing his name. The alleged scheme, known as “18kRonaldinho,” promised extravagant 2% daily returns on cryptocurrency investments. However, Ronaldinho vehemently denied his involvement and insisted that he was a victim of the fraudulent operation.
During the parliamentary committee inquiry on August 31, Ronaldinho presented evidence demonstrating that he had never partnered with the company behind 18kRonaldinho. He contended that his name and likeness were exploited without his consent. Images from the company’s marketing materials were displayed during the hearing, featuring Ronaldinho prominently. The former soccer star clarified that these images were taken as part of a contract he signed in July 2019 with a subsidiary of the company, focusing on the sale of watches. However, he emphasized that the contract was terminated in October of the same year and was never executed.
When queried by the inquiry’s president, Aureo Ribeiro, about whether he intended to reimburse those who invested in the company, Ronaldinho declined to provide an answer. He also remained silent when asked about the $61 million lawsuit filed against the firm, which sought damages resulting from the alleged scheme. The enigmatic responses from Ronaldinho left the committee members and spectators puzzled, eager to uncover the truth behind his involvement.
Inquiry Unveiled: 11 Crypto Schemes Under Scrutiny
Ronaldinho’s appearance before the parliamentary committee marked a pivotal moment in the ongoing investigation into crypto pyramid schemes in Brazil. The inquiry, launched in June, aims to probe 11 companies that allegedly lured investors with promises of lucrative returns using cryptocurrency. Brazil’s Securities and Exchange Commission raised concerns about these companies, leading to a thorough examination by the country’s Chamber of Deputies.
Ronaldinho’s previous nonattendance at two hearings added to the intrigue surrounding the case. His assertion that adverse weather conditions prevented him from attending one of the hearings left some skeptical. However, the August 31 hearing served as his final opportunity to address Congress. Had he not appeared, Ronaldinho could have faced fines or even arrest, with authorities forcibly compelling his presence.
As the investigation into the alleged crypto pyramid schemes continues, Ronaldinho’s denial of involvement raises critical questions about the extent to which individuals’ identities can be exploited in the realm of cryptocurrency. The broader implications of such cases highlight the importance of regulatory oversight and the need to safeguard investors from fraudulent schemes in the evolving landscape of digital finance.