Rio's civil servant is accused of applying a scam disguised as 'investment in sports trading'

A civil servant in Rio de Janeiro is being accused of carrying out a millionaire scam. According to an article published by Valor Econômico, the affected people thought they were investing in sports trading. That is, probability negotiations during a sporting event, such as football, tennis, volleyball, etc.

According to the reports made to the police, there is a list of betting companies that do not offer this type of practice. The platforms presented to the authorities only have the fixed odds betting mode.

In addition, the injured parties stated that the server had zero risk investment forms. Check out the full story below!

Server is accused of scam

A civil servant in Rio de Janeiro is accused of “disappearing” with around R$25 million. Much of this amount belongs to lawyers and forum workers in Barra do Piraí, a small town in the interior of the state. They believed in an investment proposal that guaranteed a quick return and with the possibility of high earnings.

People who claim to be injured claim that the server offered investment plans in “sports trading”. This term, not very popular in Brazil, is used to refer to probability negotiations during a certain sporting event. The trader buys and sells the outcome possibilities while the match is being played (soccer, basketball, tennis etc).

It’s not clear, however, if that’s exactly what server did. He had an account with online sports bookmakers. In the crime news presented to the police, platforms that do not provide this type of operation are listed. They only offer the type of betting known as fixed odds.

In this model, the player bets against the house (not against other bettors, as in “trading”) and, when placing the bet, he knows what percentage he will receive if he gets the result right. If you make a mistake, you gain nothing and lose the entire amount invested.

People who claim to be aggrieved by claim, however, that he offered zero-risk investment plans. “If I made a mistake, I would return all the money invested and if I got it right, I would pay with an increase,” says attorney Christopher Taranto, who represents some of the victims.

According to the lawyer, the server had an investment contract with some of these people. Others have promissory notes or transaction receipts and messages that were exchanged over the phone. “We raised that the amount due exceeds R$25 million”, he says.

Specialist in sports law, Udo Seckelmann, from Bichara e Motta Advogados, says that sports betting, by itself, has no criminal consequences. “The problem is to promise a benefit and not fulfill it”, he says, without going into the specifics of the case involving the civil servant of Rio de Janeiro.

He contextualizes that sports betting began to be allowed in Brazil in 2018, through Law No. 13.756. This legislation, he emphasizes, deals only with fixed-rate betting and is still pending regulation.

The Ministry of Economy has until the end of next year to publish the decree regulating the activity. “While this does not happen, no company based in Brazil can operate. The law says that you need to have a license and it will only be possible to obtain this license after regulation”, says Seckelmann.

It is for this reason that there are still no Brazilian companies operating in this field. All online sports bookmakers that are accessed from here in the country are based abroad, in places where the activity can be explored.

They are well-known brands of Brazilians who follow sports. They sponsor football clubs and appear during breaks in game broadcasts. Two of the most famous are based in the UK.

People who claim to have been harmed by the Rio de Janeiro civil servant claim that he used the Judiciary’s credentials to give credibility to his functions as a “trader”. He is a public candidate and works in the Comarca of Barra do Piraí, a municipality in the south of Rio de Janeiro with just over one hundred thousand inhabitants.

Until last year, I was also teaching a law course at a college in the region. Most of the people who claim to be injured are from there. In addition to lawyers and civil servants, there are former students and friends.

About a hundred people are estimated to have lost money. The reports of victims heard by Valor are very similar: return on the first investments, made in low amounts, and the “disappearance” of the money after they gained trust and deposited higher amounts. A single lawyer claims to have lost more than R$900,000.

Another victim, who had personal relationships with the server, claims to have handed over R$100,000 into his hands. “I said that I had no risk of loss because the profit was so big, with just one game I could guarantee the entire month’s money. The first time I invested with it, I deposited one day and the next in the morning there was already a return.”

This case is being investigated by the 88th Police Station in the city of Barra do Piraí. “It is in progress and under judicial secrecy,” informed the agency’s press office, without giving further details.

Christopher Taranto, a lawyer for some of the victims, says that the crime reports filed against the server are based on the crime of embezzlement. “So far, no action has been taken to decree preventive detention. We’re asking because he keeps applying the scam to other people.”

In addition, according to the lawyer, there are at least 17 collection actions in court. Some already have decisions. The 2nd Court of the District of Barra do Piraí has ​​determined the blocking of bank accounts and also the accounts that the server maintained on the platforms where the bets were placed. There is no information, however, whether, in fact, these accounts were blocked.

Valor tried to contact, by phone, the server and his lawyer, but neither of them responded. The Judicial Administrative Department of the State of Rio de Janeiro affirms that it removed the civil servant from his duties and instituted an investigation to investigate the facts as soon as it became aware of the case.

The inquiry is a preliminary investigation phase. With the evidence confirmed, a Disciplinary Administrative Procedure (PAD) was opened, which is processed in secrecy by the courts and has a period of 90 days to complete. The internal affairs department also informed that the Public Prosecutor’s Office was notified for “the relevant criminal measures”.

The State Public Ministry was contacted, but stated, through the press office, that it had no information about the case.