Ex-Man Utd star Anderson charged with alleged involvement in cryptocurrency fraud ring

Anderson Manchester UnitedGetty

Ex-Manchester United and Brazil midfielder Anderson faces multiple criminal charges related to his alleged involvement in a criminal cryptocurrency organisation. 

A total of eight people have been charged with aggravated theft, fraud and money laundering after an investigation carried out by authorities in Porto Alegre, Brazil. 

The group stands accused of illicitly redirecting funds and using crypto operations to cover the subsequent money trail. 

What is Anderson accused of? 

According to the probe, led by the Rio Grande do Sul Public Prosecutor's (MP-RS) office and dubbed Operation Cryptoshow, the now-retired player formed part of a ring that stole and laundered money through the use of the virtual currency. 

In 2020 Anderson's apartment in Porto Alegre was raided by authorities and his personal computer seized. He subsequently confirmed that he worked as a crypto trader, but denied any involvement in illegal activities. 

The operation in question is investigating the April 2020 theft of R$30 million (£4m/$5.5m) from a major Brazilian industrial firm. That sum, according to the Prosecutor's office, was deposited in 11 bank accounts across four states in the country and then laundered through the purchase of cryptocurrency both locally and overseas. 

Anderson, meanwhile, denies any wrongdoing in the matter and will seek to clear his name. 

"We have not been summoned, it is hard to talk right now," the former player's lawyer Julio Cezar Coitinho Junior explained to Globo

"There is an investigation underway, Anderson has said he is aware. But Anderson is going to prove that he was a victim, not an accomplice. That is his position."

The bigger picture

While best known in Europe for his mixed spell at Old Trafford, Anderson enjoyed an accomplished playing career in his native Brazil, picking up the nickname 'Andershow' for his skills on the ball. 

The Porto Alegre native started his career with Gremio but chose to move to arch-rivals Internacional upon his return to the city in 2015, winning the Gaucho state championship with the club that same year. 

Anderson went on to finish his playing days in Turkey with Adana Demirspor, while he also won eight caps for Brazil and was part of the Selecao's triumphant 2007 Copa America squad.

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