October 08 – CEO of the Embattled Brazillian Crypto Company Owns 25,000 Bitcoins
A leaked tax filing shows that Claudio Oliveira, the Chief Executive of the embattled Brazilian cryptocurrency company Grupo Bitcoin Banco, owns as much as 25,000 Bitcoin. This amount is currently worth more than $209 million USD.
A person familiar with Brazil’s tax authority, the Department of Federal Revenue (RFB), sent the tax filing to Cointelegraph. The shared tax document shows that Claudio Oliveira acquired the crypto funds in a 2018 tax return with the RFB. Although the filing document is genuine, it is impossible to find out whether the noted numbers are precise or the most recent, because the tax filings in Brazil are being self-reported.
Screenshot of Oliveira’s 2018 tax filing
The company says that Oliviera’s personal funds are not in any way linked to the firm’s Bitcoin funds or debts to its customers.
“It should be clarified that the data of a private individual are totally different from that of an individual that legally belongs to the group [Grupo Bitcoin Banco].” said a Group Bitcoin Banco’s representative in a statement regarding the tax document.
At the same time, Oliveira is claiming that his company cannot pay off client funds due to a recent hack. Although the tax document relates to Oliveira’s private funds, legal officers say that the Brazilian law can claim Oliviera’s funds to pay off the company’s debt. However, this is more likely to happen if the Brazilian law enforcement finds out that the company had participated in the fraud and the hack didn’t happen.
The fact that Oliviera supposedly owns more than $200 million in Bitcoin is particularly notable since the traditional bank sector in Brazil fights back against the growing adoption of digital currencies. Besides the news that Oliviera owns a large amount of Bitcoin, Grupo Bitcoin Banco has its own legal issues as well and authorities are investigating its activities.
A few months ago, the company stated that it was a victim of a security breach when some clients doubled the funds on their accounts and withdrew the unexisting money, according to the reports. The supposed hack could cost the company around 50 million Brazilian reals ($13 million).
While the group has been continuously claiming it was the victim of the breach, it still hasn’t provided any evidence to advocate that claim. In June, the court in the State of Paraná asked the firm to prove the hack in its defense against a former client’s suit. Oliviera’s company never provided evidence to prove the hack, and in July, the group made an arrangement with the former client including an unrevealed amount.
Since Oliveira’s private Bitcoin funds have now become a public matter, it’s still unclear whether he will have to use those holdings to pay off the company’s debts. That will become clear once judges decide whether the Brazilian group was truly hacked, or if they participated in the fraud from the beginning – possibly holding the CEO accountable for the losses of the company’s clients.