The cryptocurrency landscape in Brazil is currently overshadowed by a high-profile investigation involving football icon Ronaldinho Gaúcho. The former Paris Saint-Germain, F.C Barcelona, and AC Milan player is facing legal scrutiny over his alleged ties to a cryptocurrency scam, casting a shadow on celebrity endorsements in the volatile crypto market.
At the heart of the matter is Ronaldinho’s venture, ’18kRonaldinho’. The company is under the lens for promising clients daily returns of over 2% through cryptocurrency investments. A significant lawsuit, intertwined with a broader probe into crypto frauds in Brazil, is seeking damages exceeding $61 million, citing the company’s failure to deliver on its promises.
The intrigue deepened when Ronaldinho missed a congressional hearing on August 24, marking his second such absence. While “adverse weather conditions” were cited as the reason, the missed appearance has only intensified the legal spotlight on him. Congressman Aureo Ribeiro has indicated that another opportunity for testimony has been set for August 31. If Ronaldinho remains absent, the situation could escalate with potential law enforcement intervention.
In a twist to the narrative, Ronaldinho’s legal representatives have positioned him as merely an “ambassador” for ’18kRonaldinho’. They argue that his image and name were leveraged without proper consent, painting him as another victim of the alleged scam rather than a perpetrator.
Further complicating the situation is Ronaldinho’s brother, Roberto de Assis, who attended a recent hearing. Assis conveyed that Ronaldinho has been actively cooperating with ongoing investigations and has previously provided clarifications to Brazil’s Public Ministry. However, lawmakers are insistent on hearing directly from Ronaldinho.
This isn’t the first time Ronaldinho has been embroiled in legal controversies. A 2020 incident saw him and his brother arrested in Paraguay over counterfeit passports, resulting in a 170-day jail term. The current crypto investigation, with Assis’s involvement, adds another layer to the unfolding story.
As the events continue to unfold, they underscore the potential pitfalls of celebrity endorsements in the crypto sector. Both the football and crypto communities are keenly awaiting further developments, seeking clarity on Ronaldinho’s involvement and the broader implications for the crypto industry.
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