A Brazilian music superstar accused of running an international pyramid scheme that lost backers GBP 236 million has been seized by police.
Patrick Abrahao, 24, was arrested at his luxury condo in Rio de Janeiro on 19th October.
Abrahao is notorious for flaunting his VIP lifestyle on social media to promote his investment business.
He’s accused of inventing his own online currency before overvaluing it and marketing it to millions of people as part of an international pyramid scheme called ‘Trust Investing’.
The joint operation was carried out by the Federal Police (PF) in Brazil, as well as the National Mining Agency and the Federal Revenue.
Abrahao has racked up three million followers on his Instagram account which features images of him posing next to sports cars in designer clothing in posts accompanied by motivational messages.
In one of his earliest posts, the young man can be seen sitting on a white BMW.
He wrote: “Owning a BMW has always been one of my dreams! It’s one of the cars I’ve always wanted to own, if I chose to stay in my comfort zone, I could never make it!
“Keep fighting for your goals, no matter what, believing is the first step to experiencing extraordinary things.”
Abrahao’s pyramid scheme was reportedly drawing in new investors up until the moment the police inquiry began, according to investigators.
Abrahao allegedly scammed 1.3 million people out of BRL 4.1 billion (GBP 236 million) while consistently uploading images of his flashy lifestyle online.
The pyramid scheme also featured what it described as “investment solutions” which were aimed at generating profits from other businesses in order to ‘diversify’ financial gains.
This included a scheme called the ‘Trust Diamond’, which has been linked to both international and homegrown emerald and diamond mines.
Abrahao is now being investigated for embezzlement, money laundering, crimes against the national financial system and misrepresentation, according to local media reports.
A bank account containing USD 20 million (GBP 17, 889,100) has also been frozen by investigators.
Real estate, emerald mines, livestock, crypto ‘assets’ and a number of speedboats have also been seized, according to reports.