BULLETIN: Botafogo Soccer Club Dumps TelexFree

Brazil-based TelexFree figure Carlos Costa harrumphed for both TelexFree and Botafogo.

Brazil-based TelexFree figure Carlos Costa harrumphed for both TelexFree and Botafogo.

BULLETIN: (2nd update 5:10 p.m. EDT U.S.A.) The Botafogo professional soccer club in Rio de Janeiro has canceled its sponsorship contract with TelexFree and will strip the TelexFree logo from team jerseys, according to an announcement on the team website.

TelexFree figure James Merrill was jailed in the United States last week. Fellow TelexFree figure Carlos Wanzeler was labeled a fugitive by the U.S. Department of Justice. The company is alleged to have operated a massive Ponzi- and pyramid fraud that gathered more than $1.2 billion.

News that Botafogo had dumped TelexFree came on the same day it was learned that some TelexFree promoters sought to explain to a U.S. federal judge that TelexFree provided a valuable “branding” opportunity.

Botafogo’s stripping of TelexFree’s name from its jerseys appears to show that the soccer club now believes differently. Some Brazilians expressed concerns months ago that any association with TelexFree by the team could backfire.

TelexFree already was under investigation in Brazil when the company and Botafogo announced the sponsorship in January. Court records in the United States now show that TelexFree became the subject of an undercover probe in America months before the purported opportunity and team announced the deal in a video that showed a limousine, a press event and Merrrill and Wanzeler wearing team jerseys.

Some TelexFree promoters had pointed to the Botafogo sponsorship as supposed proof that TelexFree was legitimate.

See earlier PP Blog stories that reference the Botafogo deal:

Jan. 9, 2014: With Carlos Costa Gesticulating Wildly, TelexFree, An Alleged Pyramid Scheme, Says It’s Now A Soccer Benefactor

Jan. 11, 2014: REPORT: Flap Over TelexFree Soccer Club Deal Deepens; Botafogo’s Main Sponsor Reportedly Does Not Want Its Name Associated With Alleged Pyramid Scheme

Jan. 15, 2014: SporTV Video Shows That TelexFree, An Alleged Pyramid Scheme, Is Using A Shared Office Facility In Massachusetts With At Least 25 Other Firms

Aoril 4, 2014: EDITORIAL: Uproar In TelexFree’s Billion-Dollar Broom Closet

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3 Responses to “BULLETIN: Botafogo Soccer Club Dumps TelexFree”

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  3. Wonder if they’ll give the sponsorship money back.

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