Nelma Kodama’s Net Worth: How Rich is the Dollar Dealer?

Although born into a more than comfortable household on October 12, 1966, in Taubaté, Brazil, Nelma Mitsue Penasso Kodama always craved a different level of adventure and independence. She thus enrolled at the Odontology University of Lins upon graduating high school to become a dentist, as explored in ‘Nelma Kodama: The Queen of Dirty Money,’ yet ultimately ended up working in finance. Though what no one could’ve ever imagined was that she’d soon not only delve into the dark side of this particular market but also evolve into one of its most prominent local currency traders.

How Did Nelma Kodama Earn Her Money?

While it’s true that Nelma’s family of Italian and Japanese descent owns-operates a meatpacking plant and a butcher shop in Diadema, she was reportedly never interested in this line of work. This São Paulo native hence chose to pursue her actual interest, which inadvertently led her to dollar dealer Julio Cesar Emilio — he became her boyfriend and introduced her to the world of currency trades. “I learned very quickly,” she conceded in the documentary. “I’d never worked with… buying and selling dollars. I was there [at Julio’s business] solely to answer the phone. I wasn’t there to negotiate.”

However, as mentioned above, Nelma did learn the art of currency trading relatively quickly by paying attention to the way her boyfriend ran his establishment, just to end up being one of the best. Thus, it comes as no surprise that when Julio chose to step back in fear of getting caught, she took over everything — there were partnerships involved along the way, but she made all the decisions. That’s when she expanded her wings, got involved with various individuals as well as corporations to help her venture, and gained a worldview by actually spending her hard-earned money too.

While it’s unclear what percentage Nelma took as commission from clients, we do know she made enough to take extravagant vacations at the drop of a hat, pay for friends to come along, shop at the most luxurious brands, and build her dream home exactly to her liking. In fact, per her own accounts, “every single piece in [my home] has my personality, my taste, my soul, my life, and work in it,” especially since she personally purchased it all in Italy before having it transported to São Paulo. As if that’s not enough, there was once a time she apparently had seven cars — one for every day of the week — so many shoes she could wear a different pair each day and still have more, as well as opulent jewelry unlike any other.

Nelma Kodama’s Net Worth

Despite having faced numerous legal issues over the years, it appears as if Nelma Kodama is still leading a comfortable life thanks to the efforts of her entrepreneurship spirit and her former career as a currency trader. We specify “former” because she was eventually convicted on charges of corruption, involvement in a criminal organization, plus illegal foreign exchange around the mid-2010s, only for her 18-year sentence to be lowered by her cooperation and then pardoned by then-President Michel Temer in 2017. Furthermore, although she is currently indicted for having a hand in an international cocaine smuggling ring as an alleged coordinator among parties, the fact even her house arrest was revoked indicates there’s no impact on her finances as of writing since there’s no conviction.

Coming to Nelma’s actual net worth, because she admittedly became a millionaire prior to the age of 30 before facing several ups and downs, calculating her precise wealth is a little difficult. Nevertheless, upon taking into consideration her assets (like her home, where she still resides) and the fact currency trading often earned her many millions within weeks thanks to her level of operations, dealing in dollars, and the inflation in Brazil, it’s evident she has accumulated a fortune. In fact, given her extensive legal troubles, luxurious lifestyle, supposed revenues, as well as possible losses in her decades-long career, we estimate this public figure’s net worth to be close to $10 million.

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