A retired former Manchester United soccer star has been charged in connection with a wide ranging digital currency fraud probe, as part of an investigation into suspected money laundering through digital currency.
Brazilian player Anderson, who retired in 2020, was identified as one of eight suspects involved in a money laundering operation thought to have handled some R$35 million in illicit funds through digital currency.
A complaint from the state prosecutor of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil was brought against Anderson and the others, with the central court of Porto Alegre accepting the complaint on August 17.
The laundering operation was said to have involved moving the millions from a Brazilian stock exchange, which was then used to purchase digital currency. Prosecutors allege this was done to cover tracks, and to clean the funds that had been taken.
Anderson maintains his innocence, saying he has held digital currency reserves since 2019. While he does not dispute that one of his companies sold Segwit to one of the other individuals implicated in the operation, he claims he was unaware of the origin of the money.
Investigators will now look further into Anderson’s involvement, and that of his company, to determine whether a conviction is possible.
Anderson’s lawyer said Cezar Coitinho Junior said it was hard to comment in much detail given the nature of the case.
“There is an investigation underway, Anderson has said he is aware. But Anderson is going to prove that he was a victim, not an accomplice. That is his position.”
The alleged scheme is only the latest example of money laundering through digital currency, which has been a growing problem in recent years due to anonymous and pseudonymous digital currencies like BTC.
With criminal elements still turning to BTC to launder money and cover their tracks, law enforcement agencies worldwide are tackling similar problems in uncovering digital currency fraud operations.
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