The police broke up a Czech-founded gang that robbed Brazilian investors

The police broke up a Czech-founded gang that robbed Brazilian investors

Police broke up a Czech-founded gang that robbed Brazilian investors< /p> Illustrative photo – Euro and dollar bills in an Illustrative picture dated August 25, 2003.

Lisbon – Brazilian police and the Portuguese branch of Interpol have broken up a criminal network running a shell company that robbed thousands Brazilian investors using a fraudulent scheme inspired by the movie The Wolf of Wall Street. The gang was founded by a Czech citizen settled in Lisbon, Reuters reported today, citing the police.

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Brazilian police said in a statement that a Czech citizen opened a call center in Lisbon, where he hired hundreds of poor Brazilians living in the Portuguese capital. They were tasked with calling people in Brazil and convincing them to invest in stocks. The money ended up in the company's accounts, while victims of the fraud were told that the funds had disappeared due to the market downturn.

“In desperation (…) they were encouraged to make further investments in the hope of recouping the loss,” said police chief Eric Sallum. “But it turned out that even the new investments were creating losses that snowballed,” he added.

The investigation showed that the group had been operating for at least four years, during which it defrauded thousands of people, many of whom came for lifetime savings. The company's profits were in the millions of Brazilian reals.

Six leaders of the gang were arrested and face charges of fraud and money laundering, bank accounts were frozen and several fake websites were taken down.

There was a “sociopathic atmosphere” in the call center which, according to the police, resembled that of the 2013 blockbuster film The Wolf of Wall Street. The film was based on the memoirs of Jordan Belfort, who ended up in prison in the 1990s for defrauding investors, which he millions of dollars. According to the police, employees were encouraged to watch the film and imitate the behavior of the main character, played by Leonardo DiCaprio. .