In a recent revelation, two top Brazilian football players claimed that they were going to fall prey to a crypto scam. Additionally, they have alleged a fellow player was involved in the scam.
According to local media reports, these players were almost convinced to put their money into the fraudulent project which was run by a fellow player. This case was brought to the limelight by Mayke, who is currently playing at Palmeiras, in São Paulo, Brazil, along with the Nottingham Forest (English Premier League) midfielder Gustavo Scarpa.
The players have initiated legal proceedings against a “consultancy” and “financial planning” firm named WLJC. This firm is operated by Willian Bigode, who currently plays at Fluminense, in the Brazilian top division.
As per media outlets, the accused firm WLJC recommended that Mayke and Scarpa invest their funds in a platform named Xland Holding. However, in October 2022, Xland was identified by the Public Ministry of the Brazilian state of Acre as “a possible financial pyramid scheme.”
In response to that, Bigode’s legal team has claimed that their client did not act in bad faith – and that he himself is a victim of the Xland scheme. According to Bigode’s legal team, the player himself has lost some $3.4 million of his own funds in an investment. Additionally, the team claimed that Bigode and his firm had only recommended the project to Mayke and Scarpa after he had been introduced to it by “people he trusted implicitly.”
An excerpt from the draft released by Bigode’s legal team is as follows:
WLJC is not a brokerage. [It does not] have the power to make investments on behalf of its clients, as it acts exclusively in the field of financial planning.
Over the years, scams in the crypto sector have marked an incessant rise troubling investors and regulators alike. In addition, the previous year has been anticipated to be largely in favor of crypto hackers and scammers, with huge losses throughout the year.
According to a report published by Immunefi, a bug bounty and security services platform for the Web3 ecosystem, the crypto industry lost $3.9 billion in the previous year. Amongst these losses, hacks were found to be the main causes, accounting for 95.6% of the total, and the rest, 4.4%, comprising fraud, scams, and rug pulls.
In another report by Solidus Labs, a blockchain risk monitoring firm, more than 350 fraudulent crypto tokens were created daily this year. Solidus Labs is the category-definer for crypto-native triple T (3T) market integrity solutions – trade surveillance, transaction monitoring, and threat intelligence.
These tokens have been used to defraud millions of investors across the globe. In its 2022 “Rug Pull Report,” the monitoring agency published that 117,629 “scam tokens” were deployed from the start of 2022 to December 1.