- Glaidson Acácio dos Santos, the ‘Bitcoin Pharaoh’, has to pay back $3.7 billion to more than 122,000 victims of his Brazilian crypto fraud
- The Bitcoin Pharaoh is accused of defrauding thousands of Brazilian investors
- Santos, a former pastor, had wanted to run for local office
Brazilian authorities have caught up with Glaidson Acácio dos Santos, also known as the ‘Bitcoin Pharaoh’, and ordered him to deposit roughly $3.7 billion in court within two days as recompense for scamming hundreds of thousands of citizens. The amount is intended to be returned to the 122,072 investors who had fallen victim to Santos’ crypto scam. The news comes shortly after a local court prevented dos Santos from contesting the Federal Deputy post in the country’s Christian Democratic Party.
122,072 Investors Demanding their Money Back
Authorities first learned of dos Santos’ fraudulent Bitcoin scheme in 2021. Hundreds of thousands of investors gave him their money after he guaranteed 15% interest on their deposits. However, the scheme turned out to be nothing more than a gargantuan pyramid scheme. When dos Santos was arrested, police found luxury goods and millions of US dollars in cryptocurrencies and assets in his possession.
According to the court overseeing the case, the funds will be returned to the 122,072 individuals after dos Santos’ legal representative failed to convince the court that the order did not consider his client’s financial health and also didn’t take into account the company’s “inbound and outbound transactions.”
Instead of 15% Interest, Investors Lost Everything
Investigations into the scheme revealed that Santos was operating with the help of four other persons out of their affluent estate in Rio de Janeiro, which acted as their headquarters. The victims fell for dos Santos’ tales of guaranteed interest, a story that has been used time and time again to lure in unsuspecting investors.
Available information shows that the amount of funds in crypto recovered by the authorities is the largest in the country’s history. The insult doesn’t stop there – Santos’ involvement in the scam has also locked him out of the political contest in which he was involved, ending his chances at holding office.