Here is an interesting fact: if Bernie Madoff was Brazilian he would have never gone to jail for his US$50 billion ponzi scheme. E viva o Brasil!
The Brazilian Securities Commission (CVM) decided a few days ago to only fine Thales Maioline, accused of defrauding 2,000 investors in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais in a R$100 million ponzi scheme.
According to OGlobo, under his firm FIRV, Mr. Maioline (who the Brazilian press compares to Bernie Madoff) sold an investment fund that promised exceptional returns, but was in fact practicing a pyramidal fraud. Heard it before? Thales promised monthly returns of 5% on the principal plus semi-annual bonus of 30%. When his pyramid scheme took off, the operations became riskier and he could only honor interest payments by attracting new investors. Mr. Maioline and his three partners were often seen wearing designer clothes, luxury watches and had expensive cars to show off their success and raise more money from new investors. But when the pyramid began to crumble and his firm was on the verge of bankruptcy, Thales Maioline fled Brazil and hid in a Bolivian jungle before surrendering himself to police on December 2011.
Maioline was arrested but got bailed by a state court decision shortly after. According to the court, he was given the bail because “even though there was strong evidence and proof of a crime, the defendant’s freedom would not affect the investigation process.” (by the way, this is the type of investigation that might take 20 years to end and lead to no decision).
While the case is pending (and the criminal is free), CVM has decided to ban FIRV and Thales Maioline from the securities market for 10 years and fine him R$ 500,000.
Seems like a joke? Well… it’s not.
Source: OGlobo, Estado de Minas