Brazilian Football Legend Ronaldinho Denies Involvement in $61m Crypto Pyramid Scheme

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Football legend Ronaldinho strongly denied any connection to a $61 million cryptocurrency pyramid scheme during a congressional hearing on August 31 in Brazil.

The scheme, which operated under the name “18kRonaldinho,” had promised daily returns of 2% on cryptocurrency investments and is currently facing a lawsuit aimed at recovering $61 million in damages.

When the promised returns failed to materialize, a formal investigation was launched. The Brazilian Congressional Committee called on Ronaldinho to answer questions and he said he had no connection to the cryptocurrency pyramid scheme bearing his name.

Ronaldinho Missed Two Previous Sessions

Ronaldinho’s appearance before the Congressional Committee came after he missed two previous sessions. His brother and business representative, Roberto de Assis Moreira, appeared before the same committee the previous week to give his testimony. In the second instance, he explained that he missed an Aug. 24 hearing due to the closure of the Porto Alegre airport amid severe weather conditions.

He said he signed a contract with US company 18k Watch Corporation in 2016 to market a line of watches.

“They misused my name to create this company’s corporate name,” he said.

Ronaldinho said that all the images of him used by the scheme were from promotional photoshoots conducted for the watch company. 

The former soccer star emphasized that he never authorized the use of his image for the sale of cryptocurrencies. In his statement, he asserted, “It was never authorized for 18k Ronaldinho to use my name and my image or nickname in the corporate name of the company. I was a victim.”

Ronaldinho testifies before the Brazilian Congressional Committee
Ronaldinho testifies before the Brazilian Congressional Committee

A Broader Trend

Many celebrities and influencers have been associated with questionable cryptocurrency schemes in recent times. These cases often involve the promotion of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) or cryptocurrencies that fail to deliver on their promises.

In April last year, Time Magazine reported that “Save the Kids” initiative, which was endorsed by influencers from the popular FaZe e-sports clan as a way to both help underprivileged children and make money for investors, was a scam. 

And two influencers faced charges in connection with the CSGOLotto scam. In the case of Central Tech, influencers were used to deceive people out of millions, leading to investigations involving celebrities including DJ Khaled and Floyd Mayweather.

More recently, Kim Kardashian and Jake Paul have faced investigations for their roles in promoting EthereumMax.

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