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Brazilian court rejects ‘Bitcoin Pharaoh’ candidacy in upcoming elections

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A Brazilian who made headlines after being accused of one of Brazil’s biggest scams has been denied a candidacy in the upcoming election. Known as “Bitcoin Pharaoh”, he allegedly defrauded more than 27,000 investors in a pyramid scheme that promised monthly returns of 10%.

The man, whose real name is Glaidson Acácio dos Santos, wanted to run for a position as a federal deputy candidate under the Christian Democratic Party in the upcoming October 2 elections that will pit incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro against former President Luiz Lula da Silva.

However, the Rio de Janeiro Regional Electoral Court (TRE-RJ) ruled unanimously against dos Santos, denying him the chance to be on the ticket in two weeks.

According to a local report, the court cited the pharaoh’s digital currency scam history and connections to other crimes, including murder, as the main reason for its objection.

“This court of ours has already decided that the norm cannot be interpreted restrictively, and that serious stains on the previous life of the candidates, especially when they aim to attack the foundations of the Republic, must be sufficient to justify the rejection of applications,” said Judge Luiz Paulo da Silva Araújo Filho.

As CoinGeek reported in August 2021, dos Santos was arrested in connection with Operation Krypto, in which authorities seized $29 million in the largest such seizure in Brazil. The operation also led to the arrest of some of the key people at GAS Consulting & Technology, a company dos Santos founded in 2015.

Dos Santos reportedly quit his job as a server in 2015 to start trading digital assets, and within two years he was processing millions of dollars for his clients. He lured them in with promises of 10% monthly returns and constant demonization of major financial institutions.

“Instead of giving you a piece of the cake, I’m going to give you a piece of it,” was his popular rallying cry.

At the time of his arrest, it was suspected that he had received at least $7 billion from investors in his hometown of Rio de Janeiro initially, but later from as far away as Portugal and the UK.

A crook for some, the Messiah for others

Besides the scam, the Bitcoin pharaoh is charged with one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder. With the first, he allegedly ordered a hit on a rival robbing his clients with promises of 20% monthly returns. He also ordered hits on two other rivals, but they survived, one of them miraculously escaping certain death after his car was sprayed with more than 40 bullets.

Dos Santos is currently in prison in Rio de Janeiro awaiting trial for murder, attempted murder, racketeering, financial crimes, etc.

Despite his notoriety, he is still very popular in his hometown, which is probably why he wanted to run for office.

According to the Associated Press, the people of Rio see him as a humble black man who played with a financial system created by and for the white elite. His constant preaching against this system only endeared him to people who celebrated him as a hero, despite the theft of $7 billion. Even in prison, he kept his message, penning a letter to his supporters in which he claimed that the authorities “forbid me from paying you”.

“If he wanted to run for mayor or even governor, he would win,” Gilson Silva do Carmo, a Rio resident who was one of Pharaoh’s victims, told AP. Carmo had invested $7,000 in the scheme, which he later revealed was half of all his savings.

The pharaoh’s popularity became evident when a large crowd gathered to protest outside one of Brazil’s television networks, demanding that the network stop covering news of the scam and its victims. This crowd again gathered outside the court during one of its hearings to demand his release.

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