A criminal network that was inspired by the movie “The Wolf of Wall Street” fell to defraud thousands of Brazilians

Archive photo of a police operation in Portugal (EFE/EPA/MANUEL FERNANDO ARAUJO) (MANUEL FERNANDO ARAUJO/)

Brazilian police and the Portuguese unit of Interpol dismantled a crime network who operated a fictitious company in Lisbon and who defrauded thousands of Brazilians in a movie inspired plan The wolf of Wall Street.

In a statement, Brazilian police said a Lisbon-based Czech national opened a call center and hired hundreds of hard-pressed Brazilian workers living in the Portuguese capital.

The group was tasked with calling people in Brazil and convincing them to invest in stocks. The victims’ money ended up in the company’s accounts after they were told it had been lost in the market.

“Out of desperation…they were encouraged to make new investments in hopes of reversing the loss,” Police Chief Eric Sallum said. “It turns out that the new investments also generated losses, creating a snowball”.

The investigation found that the group had been operating for at least four years and affected thousands of people, many of whom lost their life savings, while earning millions in Brazilian reais.

Six leaders of the network were arrested to face charges of fraud and money launderingbank accounts were frozen and several fake websites were removed.

movie scene
Scene from the movie “The Wolf of Wall Street”, which served as inspiration for the operation of this criminal network in Portugal

There was a “sociopathic atmosphere” in the call center, which police say mimicked the 2013 blockbuster The wolf of Wall Street, based on the memoir of Jordan Belfort, who ended up in prison in the 1990s for defrauding investors of millions of dollars. Workers were encouraged to watch the film and replicate the behavior of the main character played by Leonardo Di Caprio.

“The motto in the company was: think of you and your families, forget about the victims”said Police Chief Eric Sallum.

(With information from Reuters)

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