Retired soccer player Ronaldinho Gaúcho has been accused of an alleged $61 million cryptocurrency scam. And after being missing in action for two hearings, the Brazilian Legend has finally spoken up.
Soccer star Ronaldinho Gaúcho has denied any involvement in the “18K Ronaldinho” $61 million pyramid scheme despite the firm responsible for the alleged crypto scam being named after the football star.
The 18K Ronaldinho firm promised its clients a 2% daily income through cryptocurrency trading and arbitration that is up to 400% return in less than one year’s time, a return rate that has proven to be unsustainable countless times.
The former world-class athlete’s pictures were also used in marketing and promoting the 18K Ronaldinho firm. However, the footballer claimed that he was never partners with the alleged firm and that the firm has used his name and likeness unknowingly to him.
Ronaldinho further explained that the alleged pictures used in marketing the 18K Ronaldinho firm were pictures that were taken as part of a contract he signed in July 2019 to promote an America-based company that sells watches named 18K Watches. However, according to him, the contract was reportedly never executed as it was terminated later that year in October.
The football star revealed that he later became aware that the 18K Ronaldinho was using his name and images to promote the company but never took legal actions against the company because he also fell victim to the crypto scam.
Ronaldinho’s Appearance Before The Court
Ronaldinho Gaúcho finally appeared in court on August 31, 2023, after missing two prior hearings set by the Brazilian congressional committee. Following this, he claimed he was not to be blamed for missing these hearings and that his absence was due to bad weather.
The football star finally appeared in court following an order made by the authorities that if he failed to appear in court again, he would be faced with possible fines or brought before the court forcibly.
Ronaldinho Gaúcho was initially criminally charged in this case in February 2020, due to the hundreds of Brazilian victims who filed a complaint against the firm for fraud.
During the hearing, the football star remained utterly quiet and avoided a lot of questions thrown at him. This was because his brother Roberto de Assis Moreira and business representative Marcelo Lara, had already testified before the committee the previous week.
When he was asked about the $61 million lawsuit, he repeatedly refused to say anything about it. The football star also remained quiet when Brazilian congressional committee president Aureo Ribeiro inquired if he intended to compensate those who invested in the 18K Ronaldinho firm.
The case is being prosecuted by Brazil’s lower house, the Chamber of Deputies, and is currently investigating 10 other companies reported by the Brazilian Securities and Exchange Commission who have also maliciously promised high returns on crypto investments.
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