Forcount Ponzi founder Francisley Valdevino Da Silva (aka Francis Silva), has been indicted in the US and arrested in Brazil.

Two top Forcount Ponzi promoters in the US have also been indicted.

Forcount was a late 2017 MLM crypto Ponzi, launched as a reboot of the collapsed Cointherum Ponzi scheme.

Forcount investors invested litecoin and ethereum on the promise of a 0.01% to 3% daily ROI.

The ruse behind Forcount’s daily ROI was cryptocurrency mining and trading.

As alleged by the DOJ and confirming BehindMLM’s 2018 ForCount review;

Forcount was a Ponzi or pyramid scheme. Forcount did not trade or mine cryptocurrency.

Instead, the defendants used Victim funds to pay other victims, to further promoter the Forcount Scheme to pay other victims, and to make personal expenditures.

Although some victims received small payouts from Forcount, most Victims lost their entire investments, which were frequently in the thousands of even tens of thousands of dollars.

BehindMLM understands that US authorities began investigating Forcount following complaints filed by victims in Florida.

Forcount founder Francis Silva (right), referred to himself as the “Cryptocurrency Sheik” and “boss of the pyramid scammers”.

Like every MLM Ponzi scheme, Silva and top promoters Juan Tacuri and Antonia Hernandez received the majority of invested funds.

Silva and Tacuri withdrew tens of thousands of dollars in cash collected from victims and spent victim’s funds on apparent promotional expenses for Forcount, such as event venues and travel; apparent personal expenses, such as real estate and luxury goods; and/or other expenses inconsistent with the operation of a legitimate cryptocurrency trading and mining business.

Funds invested into Forcount were laundered through bank accounts set up through shell companies. These include International Club LLC, Malaga E-Commerce LLC and JT Florida Cleaners LLC – all set up in Florida.

To throw off potential regulatory red flags, investors were told to mark their investments as cell phone and software purchases.

Tacuri (right) misappropriated at least $181,000 of Forcount investor funds through JT Florida Cleaners.

Tacuri spent the money on real-estate and luxury goods.

Forcount began to collapse in mid 2019. This prompted a shitcoin exit-scam.

Forcount investors were told MindexCoin

would eventually reach a value of approximately $1 or more once it became accepted as a means of payment for goods and services.

In reality, Mindexcoin were essentially worthless and certain Forcount promoters were arbitraging Mindexcoin by buying it for significantly less on external exchanges and then reselling it at a large mark-up to victims.

BehindMLM noted MindexCoin in our Weltsys review. Weltsys was a third Ponzi scheme attributed to Francis Silva, this time set up through a Hong Kong shell company.

By January 2020 things were getting desperate. At one Forcount/Weltsys promo event held in Chicago, an investor

stood up and began complaining about withdrawal issues. In response, Hernandez attempted to get hotel security to eject (the investor) from the event.

Footage of the confrontation was captured and uploaded to YouTube by an attendee. Forcount investors cheered and clapped as the man was ejected from the venue.

Forcount/Weltsys officially collapsed in early 2021.

As per their December 6th sealed superseding indictment;

  • Francisley Da Silva and Juan Tacuri have been charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud and and conspiracy to commit money laundering
  • Antonia Perez Hernandez has been charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud and (making) false statements

If convicted, Da Silva and Tacuri face a maximum 60 year prison sentence. Hernandez is facing 45 years in prison.

Juan Tacuri was arrested in Florida on December 14th.

As part of their investigation, US Border Protection intercepted and detained Antonia Hernandez “as she was returning from Mexico”.

Special Agents with … Homeland Security Investigations conducted an interview of Hernandez remotely from the Southern District of New York.

During the interview, Hernandez falsely denied being a Forcount promoter, recruiting investors, and taking money from investors, and denied knowing Juan Tacuri … beyond seeing them from afar at Forcount events.

Hernandez also falsely claimed … that she had no involvement with any cryptocurrency-related business since in or about August 2017 and had no understanding of the term “binary”.

Hernandez remains at large. I’m assuming if she was still in the US she’d have been arrested along with Tacuri.

Whether Hernandez fled to Mexico or elsewhere remains unclear.

Francis Da Silva was arrested in Brazil on or around November 3rd. Da Silva’s arrest pertains to a larger $800 million Ponzi empire.

Although Da Silva isn’t named, an October 2022 ICE press-release provides further information in the lead up to his arrest.

An investigation by the Brazilian Federal Police, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and multiple law enforcement partners led to the disruption of a transnational cryptocurrency fraud ring based in Curitiba, Brazil, Oct. 6.

As part of Operation Poyais, the Brazilian Federal Police executed 20 search and seizure warrants in the states of Parana, Santa Catarina, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for multiple violations of Brazilian criminal statutes.

The violations include international money laundering, operating a criminal enterprise, fraud, and crimes against the national financial system.

The warrants are the culmination of a multi-year police investigation into a transnational cryptocurrency fraud ring led by a 37-year old Brazilian national and former U.S. resident.

The U.S. investigation revealed that the organization allegedly deceived investors in over a dozen countries by falsely claiming that they had developed fully functioning, cutting-edge cryptocurrency-related financial products.

In reality, the organization is suspected of advertising fraudulent partnerships and licenses that were used to dupe victims into investing millions into cryptocurrencies minted by the suspects. The cryptocurrencies eventually held little to no value.

In January 2022, after the leader of the transnational criminal organization relocated from the U.S. to Brazil, HSI special agents assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia, Brazil, requested the assistance of the Brazilian Federal Police in coordinating binational investigative efforts.

A subsequent investigation by Brazilian authorities identified similar criminal activities being conducted in Brazil, with an estimated 4 billion Brazilian Reais ($800 million) moved via the Brazilian banking system alone, separate from illicit proceeds that were transferred via cryptocurrency.

Da Silva is a Brazilian national, which unfortunately means he won’t be extradited to the US.

At time of publication the Forcount criminal case has yet to appear on Pacer. I expect it will show up sometime over the next 24 hours, after which I’ll be able to provide further updates.

In addition to criminal charges, the SEC has also filed a civil fraud case against Da Silva, Tacuri and two additional Forcount promoters.

The SEC has pegged Forcount losses at over $8.4 million.

 

Update 17th December 2022 – Antonia Perez Hernandez was arrested in Florida on December 16th.

 

Update 21st January 2023 – Ramon Perez and Nestor Nunez have been added to the Forcount criminal case through two separate superseding indictments.

Juan Tacuri was also arranged on January 12th. Tacuri pled not guilty his charges.