Author: Jesse Coghlan, Cointelegraph; Translation: Song Xue, LianGuai
Retired professional football star Ronaldinho Gaucho testified at a Brazilian congressional hearing, denying any involvement in a $61 million cryptocurrency pyramid scheme named after him.
On August 31st, Ronaldinho appeared before a parliamentary committee and refuted any role in the scheme called “18kRonaldinho,” which promised a daily cryptocurrency return rate of 2%. The company is being sued for $61 million in damages.
Ronaldinho claims he never collaborated with the company and that they used his name and image without his authorization, stating that he is also a victim of the so-called scheme.
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During the hearing, marketing images of 18kRonaldinho were presented, depicting Ronaldinho.
He stated that these photos were part of a contract he signed with a subsidiary of the company that sells watches in July 2019, but the contract was terminated later that October and was never executed.
Committee Chairman Aureo Ribeiro asked Ronaldinho if he intends to reimburse those who invested in the company, to which Ronaldinho stated that he will remain silent.
When asked about the $61 million lawsuit, he also did not answer.
Ronaldinho previously failed to attend two related hearings, with the most recent one being on August 24th. He claimed that weather conditions prevented him from attending.
The hearing on August 31st was his last opportunity to appear in Congress — if he failed to do so, Ronaldinho could face fines or arrest, and authorities may forcibly bring him to the hearing.
The investigation, launched in June, aims to investigate the so-called cryptocurrency pyramid scheme, led by the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies.
It is investigating a total of 11 companies accused by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission of using cryptocurrencies to make false promises of high returns.