Minerworld’s activities began in 2016, and several states in Brazil had investors. The company is accused of operating a financial pyramid scheme.
Defendants involved in a class action lawsuit against Minerworld are convicted by the courts for fraud against creditors and cheating the lawsuit by simulating the sale of a blocked property. In addition to a fine for all parties involved in the fraud, the court decision also called for a police investigation against those involved.
To better understand the case, it is first necessary to highlight the situation of a property that is involved in a lawsuit (case 0900185-73.2018.8.12.0001) with a decision in favor of Minerworld’s creditors and customers. Under the normal procedures of the law, this property can be blocked and auctioned so that the money collected in court can be used to pay the customers‘ compensation.
An appeal (case 0818768-98.2018.8.12.0001) attached to the class action lawsuit stated that the buyer of the land filed a third-party embargo to try to prevent the property from being blocked in the future and auctioned, since he was not supposed to have any involvement with the defendants of the class action. However, in an analysis of the case by the Public Prosecutor of Mato Grosso Sul (MPMS), he determined that this purchase was a simulation with the objective of trying to deceive justice in a type of asset dilapidation.
Payment for the property was made with MCASH, currency of Minerworld
The property was bought from the couple José Maia and Divina de Souza, known to be leaders of Minerworld and to have taken advantage of the money raised for luxury parties. In the land were built flats in a total valued at R$ 1.2 million and part of the purchase was made in MCASH (shitcoin created by the company).
The purchase was actually made before the decision in the collective action for the unavailability of the defendants‘ assets. The purchase commitment was signed on 15/03/2018, while the public deed is dated 16/04/2018. The decision in the class action was published on 03/05/2018.
Despite this, the courts found different forms of payments for the property and even clauses in the contract which caused a certain strangeness. First of all, in the deed the property is worth less (from R$ 1.2 million to R$ 700,000).
The magistrate also called attention to the fact that the payment was made with MCASH, a BMW worth R$ 200 thousand and in installments of R$ 100 thousand. However, the BMW was not in the buyer’s name during the transaction and was not transferred to the defendant’s name, but to another third party.
The second fact is the payment with MCASH. Of the total value of the purchase, R$ 500 thousand were paid in MCASH on March 15, 2018. The problem is that the cryptomoeda was only launched from the 18th of the same month.
Finally, and stranger, is that the last installment of R$ 100 thousand was paid after the judicial decision that made the property unavailable. The contract states that the property would be returned to the former owners after the completion of the last installment. In other words, ownership of the property would ultimately return to the couple, bypassing the judicial blockade.
The buyer of the property was involved with Minerworld.
To aggravate the situation in the view of the public prosecutor the buyer of the property not only knew about Minerworld’s situation during the purchase, but was an active member of the company.
The court decision cited how easy it was (and still is) to find information about Minerworld’s situation at the time of the purchase on various websites, in addition to the many complaints that the company had received on customer complaint websites.
The document also pointed out that the buyer was an active part of the Minerworld network and even left the profession to dedicate himself to the company. It was therefore impossible that he was unaware of the investigations of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the possibility of a decision against Minerworld in the collective action and the possibility of blocking the property.
For justice, these signs indicate that all parties were aware that they were carrying out a scheme to deceive justice and fraud Minerworld’s creditors.
„Alongside this involvement of the ambassador in Minerworld’s business, the terms of the promise to buy and sell the property and, in itself, a strong element of simulation“.
Fine of 10% of the value of the action and police investigation
Finally, the attempt to deceive justice did not come cheap for the three involved. They were told to pay a fine in relation to the original cause with monetary correction.
„I condemn as litigants in bad faith, to a fine of 10% of the value of the case, monetarily corrected by the IPCA, for each of the litigants, since they acted to the same extent“.
The MPMS also requested that an enquiry be opened against those cited in the action.
„Officially, the police station should initiate a police investigation against the above mentioned gentlemen in order to ascertain the commission of the crime provided for in art. 347 of the Criminal Code“.