The CFTC has initiated Hague Convention service on EmpiresX scammers Emerson Pires and Flavio Goncalves.

Pires and Goncalves co-founded the EmpiresX Ponzi scheme.

Upon learning they were being investigated by US authorities, Pires and Goncalves fled to Brazil.

On August 9th, the CFTC provided the court with a Status Report on service of Pires and Goncalves.

To the best of the CFTC’s knowledge, two of the Defendants—Pires and Goncalves—are currently located outside the United States, in Brazil.

The CFTC has begun service of process under the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters (“Hague Convention”) for Defendants Emerson Pires and Flavio Goncalves.

As required by the Hague Convention, the CFTC obtained certified translations (into Portuguese) of the Complaint, Civil Cover Sheet, and Summons on August 5, 2022.

On August 9, 2022, the CFTC caused all documents necessary for service under the Hague Convention to be sent to the Brazilian Central Authority, the Department of Assets Recovery and International Legal Cooperation.

According to the Central Authority, service of documents under the Hague Convention may take between 9 and 18 months.

The two other defendants in the CFTC’s case, Joshua Nicholas and Empires Consulting Corp, have already been served.

Service on scammers who flee to Brazil has proven difficult for US authorities. Earlier this month the CFTC revealed it had also initiated Hague Convention service against Johannes Steynberg.

Steynberg was CEO of Mirror Trading International, a $1.7 billion dollar Ponzi scheme. Unlike Pires and Goncalves, Steynberg is not a Brazilian citizen.

The SEC has initiated parallel civil fraud proceedings against Pires and Goncalves. They have also been indicted on related criminal fraud charges.


Update 24th August 2022 – The SEC has confirmed it too has initiated Hague Convention service against Pires and Goncalves.

As per an August 16th filing by the SEC in their EmpiresX case;

The SEC has begun the process of serving them pursuant the Hague Convention, and has already provided the required service documents to the Brazilian Ministry of Justice.

The required documents were delivered to the Brazilian regulators responsible for serving those defendants on July 29, 2022.

This actually precedes the CFTC Hague Convention initiation by a week.