Scammer imitated Leonardo Di Caprio to carry out financial scams
A scheme based in Lisbon, Portugal, and inspired by the film “The Wolf of Wall Street” caused losses of at least R$ 16 million to Brazilian investors. This Thursday (1st), one of the suspects of being part of the criminal organization was extradited to Brazil (see more below).
The scheme, according to the investigation, was structured and had divisions of functions. Initially, one of the suspects, David Souckupof Czech nationality, set up an electronic fraud industry in Portugal with the aim of carrying out attacks against Brazilian citizens.
The idea was to create ghost brokerage companies and set up a call center, that simulated Brazilian numbers. The suspects convinced the victims that the company was legal and convinced them to invest in operations recommended by the “brokers”.
However, the investments were fictitious and generated losses for the victims. The suspects justify what happened with losses on the stock market. With each million-dollar loss, victims were induced to invest more, encouraged by criminals to “reverse” their losses.
When the victims no longer had money, they were blocked by the suspects.
To attract as many victims as possible, David Soukup hired 120 Brazilian employees to work in a supposedly advertising company. However, the company was a facade and operated as a call center of capturing Brazilian victims.
The employees themselves made the calls to the victims and induced them to make supposed investments that never existed. The company itself kept the money embezzled from the victims, which was sent abroad using cryptocurrencies.
To capture the victims, the suspects offered “certain gains” and high returns. Additionally, they reported that they provided a bonus 40% for initial investments.
This supposed bonus, according to the investigation, was one of the main arguments for convincing the victims. For example, if the victim invested R$ 10 thousandthey promised to give others R$4 thousand in bonuses, so that the person would have R$ 14 thousand to invest.
The police officers identified that the company’s employees were divided into two roles:
- “Sales”: It worked as a call center and had the mission of capturing Brazilian victims. They worked with a “designed script” and used the same speech.
- “Retention”: After capturing the victims by the “sales”, this group took over dealing with them. The function is to direct people and indicate where and how much they should invest.
According to the investigation, the majority of the “sales” are illegal Brazilian immigrants who have no idea what they are selling. None of them have training in the financial market, but they inform the victims otherwise.
The suspects provided a cell phone application for victims to make investments that were determined by a company consultant. However, all investments always generated losses.
The victims were then encouraged to make new investments with the promise of reversing and recovering the lost money. The dynamic, according to the investigation, became a “snowball” until the victims no longer had anything to spend.
Withdrawing money from Brazil
To remove the money from Brazil and take it abroad, the suspects hired three companies to intermediate the transactions. They received the amounts from victims in national legal accounts and then transferred them to cryptocurrency accounts.
After the transaction, the amount was converted into dollars by a broker and sent to the contractors’ addresses. From there, they managed to remove R$ 16 million of the national banking system.
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