Brokerage and Jokerage on the Overnight Flight to Miami

A imagem “https://i2.wp.com/i113.photobucket.com/albums/n216/cbrayton/Stuff/charles-ponzi.jpg” contém erros e não pode ser exibida.
Mug shot of Charles Ponzi, 1920.

Brasil e EUA deflagram operação para combater fraudes no mercado financeiro: The Brazilian feds and the FBI cooperate to bust Brazilian “ghost firms” set up to swindle little old ladies from Pasadena. The Agência Brasil has the story.

Agentes da Polícia Federal (PF) foram mobilizados hoje (25) para desmontar a ação de uma quadrilha que teria obtido a soma de US$ 50 milhões em crimes financeiros contra investidores estrangeiros. Os fraudadores lesaram pessoas físicas e jurídicas de diversos países, principalmente da Inglaterra, Espanha, Austrália, Estados Unidos e alguns países da Ásia, conforme nota distribuída à imprensa pela Polícia Federal.

The Brazilian federal police were mobilized today (February 25) against a criminal organization that had committed an estimated US$50 million in financial crimes against foreign investors. The fraudsters victimized both individual and institutional investors from English, Spain, Australia, the United States, and various Asian nations, according to a press release from [the Tupi feds] today.

A operação, denominada Pirita, foi montada em conjunto com FBI (sigla em inglês para Departamento Federal de Investigação), que cumpriu dois mandados de prisão contra brasileiros, em Miami. No Brasil, a ação ocorre em nos estados de São Paulo e Rio Grande do Sul, onde deverão ser cumpridos 27 mandados de prisão temporária, três mandados de prisão preventiva e 35 ordens de busca e apreensão.

The operation, nicknamed “Pyrite,” was conducted jointly with the FBI, which served two arrest warrants on Brazilian citizens in Miami. In Brazil, the operation is being conducted in São Paulo and Rio Grande do Sul, where 27 temporary arrest warrants, 3 preventive detention warrants, and 35 search warrants are being served.

The local feds already did an Operation “Fool’s Gold,” but decided the metaphor was worth recycling, I guess.

De acordo com o comunicado da PF, para atrair as suas vítimas os criminosos utilizavam recursos sofisticados, com a criação de empresas fantasmas. Eles forjaram sites “de falsas empresas de fusões e aquisições, agências reguladoras, americanas e asiáticas, e diversos contratos e documentos para ludibriar estrangeiros possuidores de ações com baixa liquidez”.

According to a PF press release, the criminals used sophisticated means to approach their victims, such as the setting up of “ghost” companies. They forged the Web sites of “phony M&A firms and regulatory agencies, both American and Asian, as well as various contacts and documents, in order to deceive foreigners who owned stocks with a low degree of liquidity.”

“Just because it has a nice Web site, it must be legit.”

Os negócios concentravam-se em São Paulo e há pouco tempo o escritório foi transferido para Buenos Aires, na Argentina. De acordo com a PF, operadores de telemarkenting ofereciam condições irrecusáveis para a compra dessas ações. Quem caía no golpe fazia o depósito antecipado de taxas de corretagem (pagas a corretoras) e impostos, acreditando na promessa de restituição de todo o valor pago.

These dealings were mainly conducted in São Paulo, though the operation was recently transferred to Buenos Aires in Argentina. According to the [Brazilian feds], telemarketing operators made irresistible offers to purchase the shares in question. Those who fell for the scam would deposit taxes and brokerage fees before the deal went through, believing in the promise that they would be reimbursed for the entire amount.

Just like the old Nigerian e-mail scam, only no heart-rending letters, TYPED TELEX-STYLE, from corrupt generalíssimos trying to launder ill-gotten gains through your account and offering you a juicy cut.

As if no one would ever notice that you, an obscure and somewhat unbearable language professional from Brooklyn, suddenly had an extra R$5 million to play with.

O dinheiro era transferido para contas abertas nos Estados Unidos pelos integrantes do núcleo da quadrilha. Em seguida, os fraudadores repassavam o valor para várias outras contas e assim evitavam ser descobertos.

The money was transferred to accounts opened in the U.S. by the central figures in the scheme. The scam artists would immediately transfer the money to other accounts and thus avoid discovery.

Os crimes praticados com a ajuda de doleiros já vinham ocorrendo há pelo menos cinco anos no exterior e há três anos no Brasil. Ainda conforme a nota, os principais crimes cometidos pela quadrilha são estelionato, evasão de divisas e operação de instituição financeira sem a competente autorização, formação de quadrilha, lavagem de dinheiro e sonegação fiscal. Os acusados podem pegar até 33 anos de prisão.

The crimes, committed with the help of [black market foreign exchange dealers] have been going on for at least five years abroad and for three years in Brazil. Again according to the PF press release, the fraudsters will be charged with evasion of duties, [misappropriation of entrusted funds] and operating an unlicensed financial institution, as well as criminal conspiracy, money laundering, and tax evasion, and could receive sentences of 33 years in prison.

I am not sure why I mention it.

Bored at the moment, I guess.

And I am something of a money-laundering and long con buff, I guess. All that Luc Sante I read. And I am always interested in the technical details.

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