03 Sep, 2023

Football Star Ronaldinho Denies Involvement in Crypto Scam Worth $61 Million

Ronaldinho crypto scam

TL;DR

  • The former football star reiterated on a congressional hearing on Aug. 31 that his likeness was misconstrued to market a fraudulent crypto scheme.
  • Ronaldinho says he’s also a victim of the purported $61 million crypto pyramid scheme.

Ronaldinho Stands before the Congressional Hearing 

Ronaldinho infront of Brazil congressional hearing.
Ronaldinho infront of Brazil congressional hearing.

The retired pro soccer player, Ronaldinho, testified at a congressional hearing on Aug. 31, refuting any involvement in an alleged $61 million Crypto scam that bore his name. 

18kRonaldinho sought investors to fund their corporate projects, promising a two percent daily return. Many people, especially Brazilians, invested their money in the company, but it became a scam.

In 2022, the former pro soccer star had a case to answer in a class action lawsuit filed by Brazil’s consumer relation institute, seeking $61 million in damages for victims who fell for this scam.  

Ronaldinho made a compelling case during the hearing and denied involvement in this crypto scam. 

He claimed that the company used his name and image without consent. He further claimed that he was also a victim of this alleged scheme.

“18kRonaldinho” Scam Marketing Materials

The former football star, Ronaldinho, took the stand to defend himself and was unwavering in his stance. 

He claimed he never partnered with the company and emphasized that his name and image were improperly used without authorization.

Images of “18kRonaldinho” scam marketing materials were displayed during the hearing. It showed a picture of Ronaldinho with the text “Your money yielding up to 2% a day” (translated).

Marketing Materials for 18kRonaldinho pyramid scheme.
Marketing Materials for 18kRonaldinho pyramid scheme.

Ronaldinho, however, clarified that the picture was part of a July 2019 contract with a firm subsidiary that sells watches named 18k Watch Corporation. 

He also indicated that this contract was terminated later that year, and the partnership never came to fruition for any crypto-related ventures.

Aureo Ribeiro asked the former football star if he intended to compensate those duped by the company. Ronaldinho replied that he would remain silent on that matter. 

He also remained silent when asked about the $61 million lawsuit.

“They misused my name to create this company’s corporate name.”

Ronaldinho was cited saying in a statement by the National Congress of Brazil’s lower house.

Ronaldinho Missed Two Previous Inquiry Hearings

Ronaldinho fails to appear in crypto hearing.
Ronaldinho fails to appear in the crypto hearing.

The former pro soccer star had failed to appear on two previous hearings relating to this inquiry—the most recent being on Aug. 24. 

He thought lousy weather conditions meant he could forfeit attending the hearings. This was his last chance to appear before the Congress. 

If he didn’t, he faced possible fines and arrest— where authorities would forcibly make him appear before the Congress.

The hearing was launched to investigate alleged crypto Ponzi schemes and is being executed by Brazil’s lower house—the Chamber of Deputies. 

Is Ronaldinho Truthful? 

Ronaldinho’s involvement in the “18kRonaldinho” crypto scam has sparked controversies, and his testimonies before the Congressional hearing may be critical to shaping the ongoing investigation.

The congressional hearing hasn’t proven that the two companies—18kRonaldinho and 18k Watch Corporation are related.

It would be interesting to see how this high-profile case unfolds as both sides table their evidence and arguments.