Retired Brazilian soccer star Ronaldinho Gaucho has denied accusations of involvement in a cryptocurrency pyramid scheme bearing his name.
On Thursday, the soccer star, whose real name is Ronaldo de Assis Moreira, appeared before a group of lawmakers at a congressional hearing to address these serious allegations.
He categorically denied any association with the company implicated in the fraudulent activities, known as 18k Ronaldinho Comércio e Participações Ltda.
The company lured investors to use an alleged scam platform.
The platform operators invited crypto holders to invest a minimum of $30 worth of crypto, and promised them gains of 2% or more per day on their stakes.
“They misused my name to create this company’s corporate name,” Ronaldinho asserted firmly during the hearing, according to a statement from the National Congress of Brazil’s lower house.
“It is not true I am the founder and controlling partner of 18K Ronaldinho,” the 43-year-old former player known for his illustrious career with Brazil and Barcelona said.
The renowned former player clarified that he had signed a contract with a US-based entity, 18k Watch Corporation, in 2016 to develop a line of watches featuring his image.
However, it remains unclear whether these two companies are related.
During the congressional hearing, the rapporteur Ricardo Silva inquired about Ronaldinho’s legal actions against the company for unauthorized use of his image.
The soccer legend revealed that his brother is handling the legal aspects of these matters, putting the onus on him to navigate the complex legal landscape.
Notably, Ronaldinho found himself embroiled in a class-action lawsuit initiated by Brazil’s Consumer Relations Institute in 2020.
The lawsuit sought 300 million reais ($60.66 million) in damages on behalf of clients that lost funds in the 18k Ronaldinho Comércio e Participações Ltda scam.
In another legal trouble, Ronaldinho and his brother were arrested in Paraguay for possessing falsified passports in 2020, resulting in 171 days of imprisonment.
Despite these setbacks, Ronaldinho remains an icon of Brazilian football, having been named FIFA World Player of the Year in 2004 and 2005.
Furthermore, he clinched the World Cup with Brazil in 2002 and also won the Champions League with Barcelona in 2006.
So far this year, Web3 platforms have lost over $1.2 billion in hacks and rug pulls, according to a report from Web3 bug bounty platform Immunefi.
The report revealed a total of 211 separate incidents contributing to this massive sum, with the month of August alone accounting for $23.4 million in losses.
The surge in losses during August mostly contributed to projects hosted on the newly launched Ethereum Layer 2 Base network.
As per the report, Ethereum (ETH) faced the most significant number of attacks, with five distinct incidents affecting protocols built on the network.