Two additional promoters of the Forcount Ponzi scheme – a Brazil-based crypto scam that defrauded Spanish-speaking investors around the world of a collective $8.4 million – have been arrested and charged with fraud for their role in the alleged grift.
Spanish citizen Nestor Nunez, 64, was arrested in Spain on Dec. 28 and 40-year-old Ramon Perez, a U.S. citizen, surrendered himself to authorities in Orlando, Florida, on Friday. The Department of Justice (DOJ) is currently seeking Nunez’s extradition to face charges in the United States.
Perez is accused of defrauding would-be investors in the alleged scam and concealing his crime by laundering proceeds through shell companies and real estate. Prosecutors say Nunez was an actor paid by the alleged scheme’s real leader – Brazilian citizen Francisley Da Silva – to present himself as Forcount’s CEO, using the alias “Salvador Molina.”
Da Silva, along with three other founders and promoters of Forcount – Juan Antonio Tacuri Fajardo, Ramon Antonio Perez Arias, and Jose Ramiro Coronado Reyes – have already been charged with securities violations by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Da Silva and Fajardo also face criminal charges.
The alleged scheme ran from 2017 to 2021. It used a network of promoters to convince investors to put money in the platform, which promised high returns based on profit sharing from non-existent mining and trading activities.
According to a criminal indictment in the case, Da Silva and his cronies frittered away customer funds on luxury goods for themselves and promotion for the alleged scam, while most victims lost their entire investments.
Perez was charged with one count each of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. He faces a maximum sentence of 60 years in prison.
Nunez was charged with one count each of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud, and faces a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.
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