US Justice Department Helps Brazilian Government to Seize $24 Million in Crypto Fraud

An official request from the Brazilian government was made to the US government for helping to seize $24 million of digital currency. The Department of Justice stated that the Brazilian government asked for assistance in a crypto fraud scheme is known as Operation Egypto. 

According to the South American authorities, more than 10,000 Brazilians may have been the victim of fraud and may have lost an estimate of $200 from this scheme. 

Marcos Antonio Fagundes, a Brazilian National, is one of the individuals involved in the case from whom the US department seized the funds. Brazilian authorities informed the Department of Justice that Fagundes’s charges include; the financial institutions being operated without the legal authorization from the government, management of financial institutions with fraud, misappropriate use of funds, laundering money, and violation of security laws. An unregistered financial institution for the crypto assets was operated by Fagundes and his conspirators. They held crypto assets from the victims by making false promises regarding the fund investment and misinformed them with exaggerated return rates. 

The Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, signed in 2001 between the US and Brazil, states that both governments can request to proceeds or instrumentalities of offenses to seize the subject located in other’s jurisdiction. According to this, A Brazilian court requested the seizure of any currency that was owned or controlled in the USA by Fagundes. Hence the government filing the request to the USA District Court of Columbia. 

The department of Justice can confiscate the cryptocurrency and later auction off the funds in connection with legal cases in the USA. In February, The government declared that it would be selling around 4,040 BTC. If an anonymous buyer buys the fund at a market price they could expect a 63% return.