An investor in a suspected Brazilian crypto pyramid has claimed the firm behind the “scam” donated over $122,000 to ex-President Jair Bolsonaro’s 2018 election campaign.
Per O Globo, the allegations came to light at a recent parliamentary hearing, as the nation’s lawmakers continue to investigate a number of high-profile suspected Brazilian crypto pyramids.
The media outlet reported that the claims were made by a man named Mateus Muller, a “former investor” in the alleged crypto pyramid Atlas Quantum.
Muller said his source on the matter was Carolina de Almeida Costa, Atlas’ former financial director.
Muller said de Almeida Costa had sent him messages that “proved” Atlas had made a number of “significant” and suspicious transactions, including the alleged Bolsonaro campaign donation.
He added that the donation had been made via “lawyers and people linked to the Atlas board.”
He told attendees at the hearing:
“I suggest that this house summon Carolina de Almeida Costa. She [provided] this information. She was Atlas’ chief financial officer.”
Muller also said the lawmakers should summon Ester Braga, the ex-wife of Rodrigo Marques, the co-founder of Atlas Quantum.
He claimed that Braga was a “former high-ranking executive at the company.”
And he said both Braga and de Almeida Costa “may have additional information” that would interest the lawmakers.
Bolsonaro was elected in 2018 and took office the following year.
But when questioned by the MP Dr. Francisco Costa (PT-PI), Muller said that the donations were made “between 2018 and 2019.”
He added that he was not sure the donations had “been officially registered.”
The media outlet noted that Bolsonaro had previously told the nation’s top electoral court he received just under $1 million worth of donations ahead of the 2018 election.
There appears to be no record of a single donor contributing $122,000, O Globo wrote.
Muller went on to accuse law enforcement investigators of failing to investigate Atlas properly, suggesting officers may have been “complicit” in covering for the firm.
But lawmakers challenged Muller, demanding that he produce proof to back up his allegations.
How Did Brazilian ‘Crypto Pyramid’ Attract Investors?
Atlas Quantum was founded in 2018 in São Paulo.
Its founders claimed that an automated trading bot would conduct Bitcoin (BTC) transactions on behalf of investors and “guarantee” a “constant” inflow of profits.
But investors began complaining they were not receiving payouts later in 2018.
A formal investigation was launched the following year.
Lawmakers have since attempted to bring suspected crypto scam operators to justice, in a sweeping investigation that has seen them quiz the likes of football superstar Ronaldinho.
In July, police swooped on the offices of Braiscompany, another notable suspected crypto scam.