- Brazilian soccer legend Ronaldinho Gaúcho is facing potential arrest for failing to testify in a crypto fraud investigation.
- Ronaldinho has ignored two subpoenas to appear before Brazil’s Congress.
- In Brazil, witnesses subpoenaed to appear before Congress are legally obligated to do so.
Brazilian soccer star Ronaldinho Gaúcho is in hot water as he faces the possibility of arrest for failing to testify in a crypto fraud investigation. The investigation centers around his company, “18kRonaldinho,” which promised clients daily profits of over 2% through cryptocurrency investments.
Após ausência, CPI das Criptomoedas aprova condução coercitiva a Ronaldinho Gaúcho. https://t.co/g9OalFlKSl
— Jornal O Globo (@JornalOGlobo) August 22, 2023
According to local media reports, Ronaldinho failed to appear before Brazil’s Congress for a pyramid scheme probe linked to one of his companies. The former Paris Saint-Germain, F.C Barcelona, and AC Milan star ignored a subpoena for the second time on August 24, citing adverse weather conditions as the reason for his absence.
Congressman Aureo Ribeiro stated that Ronaldinho would have another opportunity to testify on August 31. Should he fail to appear, law enforcement officials may take him before the committee. In Brazil, witnesses who are subpoenaed to appear before Congress have a legal obligation to do so. Failure to comply may result in fines and forced appearance before Congress by the police.
The investigation revolves around Ronaldinho’s venture “18kRonaldinho,” which allegedly promised clients daily returns of over 2% through crypto investments. A lawsuit seeking more than $61 million in damages has been filed against the company for failing to deliver on these promises. This litigation is now part of a broader investigation into cryptocurrency frauds in the country.
Ronaldinho’s lawyers assert that he only served as the company’s “ambassador” and was, in fact, another victim of the purported scam. They claim that the company unlawfully exploited his name and likeness to mislead potential clients without his consent. In 2021, Ronaldinho also ventured into the crypto world, partnering with INFLUXO to release a non-fungible token (NFT) collection.
This is not Ronaldinho’s first brush with the law. In 2020, he and his brother Roberto de Assis were arrested in Paraguay for entering the country with fake passports and spent over 170 days behind bars. Assis is also involved in the ongoing crypto investigation.