Police say the company, G.A.S. Consulting & Technology, a cryptocurrency investment firm founded by a former waiter-turned-multimillionaire who is the central figure in what is alleged to be one of Brazil’s biggest-ever pyramid schemes. Owned by 38-year-old Glaidson Acácio dos Santos, he had total transactions worth at least $7 billion ($38 billion reais) from 2015 through mid-2021 ($1.2B annually) as part of a Bitcoin-based Ponzi scheme that promised investors 10% monthly returns. In hundreds of pages of documents obtained by The Associated Press, federal and state police and prosecutors accuse dos Santos and his associates of running a sophisticated racket defrauding thousands of small-scale investors who believed they were getting rich off Bitcoin’s steep appreciation. He is now in a Rio jail awaiting trial on charges including racketeering, financial crimes and ordering the murder and attempted murder of two business competitors. He remains under investigation in the attempted murder of a third competitor.
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