Brazil: footballers say they are victims of a cryptocurrency scam

Several Brazilian footballers have denounced an alleged cryptocurrency scam that caused them to lose huge sums, a case that has been making headlines in the local sports press in recent days.

“I’ve seen a lot of stupid people get tricked by crooks, but to see myself in such a situation is horrible,” Nottingham Forest midfielder Gustavo Scarpa said in an audio message. on Whatsapp revealed on Sunday by the Globo TV channel.

Scarpa and full-back Mayke, his former teammate at Sao Paulo club Palmeiras, each filed complaints in November shortly after winning the Brazilian league title together.

They accuse the Xland company of fraud, to which they have entrusted a large part of their fortune, lured by the promise of being able to generate up to 5% interest per month.

Voted best player in the Brazilian championship last season, Scarpa, 29, says he invested 6.3 million reais (about 1.1 million euros), and Mayke 4 million (about 700,000 euros).

“There are strong indications of fraud,” the investigator in charge of the case, Vinicius Salva, told TV Globo.

The two footballers claim to have made these investments on the recommendation of a former Palmeiras teammate, striker Willian Bigode, who currently plays for Fluminense, a Rio de Janeiro club.

However, it appears that Xland would be associated with a wealth management company, created precisely by Willian Bigode.

The 36-year-old striker denies any wrongdoing and also claims to be a “victim” of Xland.

“I’m not a scammer, I didn’t take anyone’s money. I’m a victim, because I still haven’t seen the color of my investments,” he said on Instagram, claiming to have lost. 17.5 million reais (about 3.1 million euros) in this case.

Brasilia-headquartered Xland filed for bankruptcy in November, blaming its losses on that of FTX, one of the biggest platforms in the cryptocurrency industry.