$25 Million In Crypto From Largest Brazil Pyramid Scheme Seized By US Author: Ali Raza Last Updated: 05 November 2020 US Authorities have seized millions of USD in value of cryptocurrencies from one of the most famous, biggest scams in Brazil. Through doing so, the US has helped Brazilian Authorities close another chapter in the dark history of crypto scams the country suffers from. Cracking Down On Pyramid Schemes The joint initiative itself was started by the Brazilian authorities, and was codenamed “Operation Egypt.” The initiative was dedicated to ending a scam worth over $200 million that had managed to gain massive amounts of popularity since its founding back in 2017. This scam has left an unfortunate 23,200 victims in its wake, at the minimum The US Department of Justice made an official announcement about the matter, stating that it had confiscated $25 million in cryptocurrencies that criminals had stored within a financial institution. While the institution itself had not been named, probably to try and help said institution save face, it’s expected that it is some sort of custodial service or crypto exchange. The DoJ did confirm, however, that it was as cooperative as it could possibly be with Brazil’s authorities amid these investigations. Joining Forces To Combat Crypto Fraud The DoJ stated that the success of Operation Egypt stands thanks to US and Brazilian authorities and agencies making a multidisciplinary effort. Alongside this, the DOJ gave thanks to the custodial entity that had access to the criminals’ stored funds. The target of the investigations of Operation Egypt was none other than InDeal: A fraudulent pyramid scheme that has been operating within Brazil since the year of 2017. This scheme blatantly promised investors that they would get up to 15% returns after just a month of investment. A Typical, If Popular, Scheme These criminals opted to ask for cryptocurrencies as a means of payment, with the company itself claiming to invest this into other crypto assets. However, the news doesn’t get written about these schemes being truthful, and a large portion of this money went into the pockets of these scam artists. As local sources showed, 15 members of the fraudulent team that was investigated had managed to raise their net worth by as much as one hundred times more than it was. The Justice Department highlighted one of the masterminds of the entire operation: Marco Antonio Fagundes. Fagundes had failed to comply with Brazil’s regulations regarding being a financial service provider. Alongside this, the man had offered a high ROI for anyone who made bets on cryptocurrency products. The Brazilian court, however, made a note of the very small amount of funding returned to the investors due to Fagundes and his team coming up with inconsistent, false promises. The court stated that they had lied about how they administrated the investor funds, as well, all with the idea of keeping the scam going and getting away with the money.