An investor involved with a suspected Brazilian crypto pyramid scheme has made startling allegations, claiming that the company behind the “scam” donated over $122,000 to former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s 2018 election campaign. These allegations came to light during a recent parliamentary hearing as Brazilian lawmakers continue to investigate multiple high-profile suspected crypto pyramid schemes in the country.
The accusations were made by an individual named Mateus Muller, who identified himself as a “former investor” in the alleged crypto pyramid Atlas Quantum. Muller stated that his source for this information was Carolina de Almeida Costa, Atlas Quantum’s former financial director. According to Muller, messages provided by de Almeida Costa demonstrated that Atlas Quantum had conducted several “significant” and suspicious transactions, including the alleged donation to Bolsonaro’s campaign. He further asserted that the donation had been channeled through “lawyers and individuals associated with the Atlas board.”
Muller also urged lawmakers to summon Ester Braga, the former wife of Rodrigo Marques, co-founder of Atlas Quantum. He claimed that Braga had held a “high-ranking executive” position within the company and may possess additional information of interest to the investigators.
In response to questioning from MP Dr. Francisco Costa (PT-PI), Muller clarified that these donations were made “between 2018 and 2019” but admitted uncertainty regarding their official registration. Notably, Bolsonaro had previously reported receiving just under $1 million in donations for the 2018 election, making the alleged $122,000 contribution a significant discrepancy.
Muller went on to accuse law enforcement investigators of inadequately probing Atlas Quantum, suggesting possible complicity in covering up the firm’s activities. Lawmakers, however, challenged Muller to provide concrete evidence to substantiate his allegations.
Atlas Quantum was founded in 2018 in São Paulo, Brazil. It claimed to operate an automated trading bot for Bitcoin transactions, guaranteeing investors a consistent stream of profits. However, numerous investors reported not receiving expected payouts later in 2018, leading to a formal investigation in the subsequent year. Brazilian lawmakers have undertaken a comprehensive investigation into suspected crypto scams, including interviews with public figures like football superstar Ronaldinho. In July, police raided the offices of Braiscompany, another prominent company involved in an alleged crypto scam.
These allegations and investigations underscore the ongoing challenges in addressing fraudulent activities in the cryptocurrency space and highlight the importance of regulatory oversight.