Brazilian Local Gov’t Chief & ‘Bitcoin Pharaoh’ Suspected of Crypto-powered Money Laundering

Brazilian law enforcement agencies have swooped on the home of a local government chief they suspect of heading a crime ring that laundered money using cryptoassets – along with a controversial figure named “the Bitcoin Pharaoh.”

The raid took place at the home of the Armação de Búzios councilman Lorram Gomes da Silveira, Globo reported, and saw officers confiscate over USD 9,250 in cash.

Multiple agencies were involved in the raid, including Rio de Janeiro’s state ministry-run Specialized Action Group for the Combat of Organized Crime. The agencies, as well as public prosecutors, believe that the councilman headed a “criminal organization” that oversaw large-scale “corruption,” making use of “false documents.”

The “organization,” the agencies say, saw the councilman make use of crypto as a tool of “embezzlement.”

Lorram is in his third term as councilor of Armação de Búzios, a position he was first elected to in 2009. From November 2018 to May 2019, he served as chief of staff to the city’s mayor. And it was in this period, the ministry says, that the crimes were committed.

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