Former professional soccer player Ronaldinho Gaúcho has firmly denied any connection to a suspected $61 million cryptocurrency pyramid scheme that used his name. Speaking at a Brazilian congressional hearing (1), Ronaldinho refuted claims of his involvement in the crypto scheme named "18kRonaldinho," which promised daily returns on cryptocurrency investments.
He emphasized that his likeness and name were improperly used without authorization and presented evidence that he was a victim of the alleged fraudulent scheme.
Denial of Involvement and Victimhood: Strong Rejection and Counterclaims
Appearing before a parliamentary committee inquiry, Ronaldinho vehemently denied being a part of the "18kRonaldinho" scheme that lured investors with the promise of 2% daily crypto returns. He stressed that he had no partnership with the company and his name and image were exploited without his consent. Ronaldinho asserted that he, too, was a victim of the scheme's misuse of his identity.
Marketing Misuse and Legal Battle: Unauthorized Usage of Likeness
Ronaldinho presented evidence during the hearing that showcased how his name and images were improperly used in the marketing materials of the alleged scam. He clarified that these images were taken as part of a contract he signed in July 2019 with a company subsidiary involved in the watch business. However, the contract was terminated by October of the same year and was never executed.
Silence on Reimbursement and Lawsuit: Avoiding Direct Questions
In response to questions about whether he intended to reimburse individuals who invested in the alleged scheme and the $61 million lawsuit, Ronaldinho chose not to provide direct answers. He remained silent on these matters during the hearing.
Last Chance Appearance: Critical Congressional Hearing
Ronaldinho's appearance (2) at the Aug. 31 hearing marked his final opportunity to address the congressional committee. Having missed two previous hearings, Ronaldinho risked fines or arrest if he failed to attend. The hearing aimed to investigate suspected cryptocurrency pyramid schemes, including "18kRonaldinho," which promised high returns using cryptocurrency investments.