In brief

  • Brazilian and America authorities worked together to seize the stolen cryptocurrency funds.
  • The investigation, led by Brazil, requested the assistance of American law enforcement.
  • It is estimated that over $200 million was given by unsuspecting victims.

American and Brazilian law enforcement authorities have seized a total of $24 million in cryptocurrency allegedly generated through an online fraud scheme.

"Operation Egypto," an investigation led by Brazilian authorities with the help of American law enforcement, tracked down Marcos Antonio Fagundes. Fagundes has been charged with the operation of a financial institution without legal authorization, fraudulent management of a financial institution, misappropriation, money laundering, and the violation of securities law.

It is alleged that Fagundes, as well as co-conspirators, used the internet to solicit investments from victims into new financial opportunities. These individuals would then part with their funds—either in the form of Brazilian fiat currency or cryptocurrency—much of which was then used to line the pockets of Fagundes and his associates.

"To carry out the scheme, the conspirators are alleged to have made false and inconsistent promises to investors about the way the funds were invested and exaggerated the rates of return," the US Department of Justice said on Wednesday.

The collaborative effort by both nations was conducted under the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Treaty.

It is estimated that tens of thousands of investors parted with over $200 million.