A Brazilian crypto businessman who allegedly arranged his former lawyer’s murder rather than pay the man a R$2.5 million ($471,965) bitcoin debt remains jailed after Brazil’s Supreme Court rejected his request for freedom.
- The First Panel of Brazil’s Federal Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear defendant Danilo Afonso Pechin’s habeas corpus plea in connection with the execution-style murder of his lawyer Francisco Assis Henrique Neto Rocha.
- Pechin, a partner of the defunct crypto investments manager Valour Invest, which Brazilian media described as a pyramid scheme, was arrested in August 2019 on suspicion he paid hitmen R$500,000 to kill Rocha. Gunmen ambushed and murdered Rocha at a São Paulo gas station in June 2019.
- In a press statement, the Court said prosecutors allege Pechin owed Rocha R$2.5 million “due to the sale of bitcoins” at the time of Rocha’s death. They cited that debt as the motive for Rocha’s murder.
- A lower court had previously rejected Pechin’s request for freedom after finding “strong evidence” he participated in the Rocha murder. Though initially complicated by a preliminary injunction, the plea denial now stands.
- The investigation into Rocha’s death is ongoing.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.