Brazil’s federal police has arrested Cláudio Oliveira, the president of the Bitcoin Banco Group, for allegedly embezzling 1.5 billion Brazilian reais (about $300 million) through a cryptocurrency scheme, Coindesk reported.
Oliveira, the self-proclaimed ‘King of Bitcoin’, allegedly skimmed the amount from a large number of investors.
In 2019, the group had reported that 7,000 Bitcoins had gone missing and reportedly applied for judicial recovery — a special arrangement under the Brazilian law to reorganise its finances — in a bid to pay its creditors and avoid bankruptcy.
However, at the beginning of 2020, it was found that the group was not complying with the obligations determined at the time of the decree of judicial reorganisation and, to promote its activities and attract new customers, it continued to offer the public collective investment contracts without registration with the market regulator.
Subsequently, the police formed a task force comprising 90 officers and launched ‘Operation Daemon’ to nab the accused and to further investigate bankruptcy crimes, embezzlement, money laundering and criminal organization, Brazil’s federal police said in a press release.
“Police investigations also revealed that the investigated person also committed, in the past, crimes of the same nature in the United States and possibly in other European countries. The investigative work in the field also made it possible to identify people suspected of concurring in the commission of the crimes under investigation,” it added.