Brazil: Money-Laundering Pipeline Indictments Due


Marco Valério Fernandes de Souza: Kojak fan, mineiro, ad man and indicted slush-fund facilitation defendant. The hand gesture pictured in this Wikipedia portrait, in Brazil, by the way, means “shove it up your ass” rather than “okay.” A little Brazilian Wikihumor by the poster.

Procurador analisa quem será denunciado por se beneficiar do ‘valerioduto’: Decisions due from the federal attorney on who to indict in the case of a political money-laundering scheme run out of Minas Gerais in the late 1990s and early Oughts.

A follow-up to

The PT 3 — prominent figures in the Workers Party — have already been perp-walked to screaming headlines full of hysterical virginity in the same case.

Now, their supporters say, it is the turn of the rival Toucans.

According to IstoÉ, the big difference between the two is that the misappropriation of public funds looms much larger in the Toucan leg of the case. IstoÉ waxes a little hysterical itself at times, but still, this will be an interesting point to reality-test going forward.

The PT 3 (or is four?) were not indicted on the counts having to do with misappropriation of public funds. As they will no doubt be reminding all and sundry very shortly. I know I would if I were them.

O documento diz que se podem identificar ao menos dois métodos utilizados para desviar recursos públicos: patrocínios fictícios de eventos esportivos realizados por empresas estatais de Minas Gerais, além de simulação de gastos publicitários da Companhia Energética do Estado.

The federal police report says at least two methods used to misappropriate public funds: Fictious sponsorships of sporting events by state government-owned companies in Minas Gerais, and publicity expenditures by the state-owned energy company.

A polícia diz que, em Minas, Valério também usava empréstimos bancários para justificar o dinheiro movimentado por um “caixa dois”.

The police say that, [as in the PT 3 case], the Belo Horizonte ad executive used bank loans to justify the money that moved through an [off-the-books slush fund.]

O relatório da PF inclui uma lista de 159 nomes de políticos que teriam se beneficiado do esquema.

The police report includes a list of 159 politicians who might have benefited from the scheme.

Outro lado

The other side

 

G1 has adopted the Folha de S. Paulo‘s habit of explicitly marking the fact when it gives equal time to other parties to public disputes and controversies.

 

Which is actually a good thing for a Globo news organization to be doing, don’t get me wrong. I really like what G1’s own news operation produces. May they all be given TV newscasts and regional newspapers to run.

 

But feeling compelled to jump up and down and yell, “Look at me! I am giving all parties equal time!” ought to tell you something about Globo’s default mode of journalistic malpractice over the decades as well.

Atualmente senador, Azeredo, negou as acusações. “Nunca houve mensalão em Minas Gerais. Nunca houve pagamento a deputados para que eles votassem de acordo com o interesse do governo. Eu não fui o responsável pelas questões financeiras da campanha de 98”.

Currently a sitting federal senator, Azeredo denies the accusations. “There was never a [slush-fundmoney-for-political-support] scheme in Minas. There was never any payments to deputies in return for voting with the goverment. I was not responsible for the financial affairs of my campaign in 1998.”

Compare

Supporters of the Senate president, who recently survived an impeachment vote on charges voted out of the ethics committee, want to know what Azeredo is not up for impeachment on ethics charges as well.

It actually seems like a fair question.

Astonishing how often the words “I am (technically speaking) not responsible” come out of some of these tropical anti-Trumans.

It often reminds of me of Slick Willy’s “(technically speaking) I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky.”

(You remember that Harry Truman was famous for having a sign on his desk that read, “The buck stops here.”)

See also

Alckmin faces a probe into allegedly similar dealings, allegedly using a similar mechanism — the so-called Nossa Caixa affair.

The current minister of institutional relations was also cited as one of the three “aces” in the “scandal” in IstoÉ‘s report this week.

The metaphor was apparently borrowed from the “Iraqi most-wanted” deck of cards, in which Saddam and Chemical Ali are the aces, naturally.

Mares Guia negou a acusação e disse que não era coordenador da campanha de Azeredo. “O próprio governador Eduardo Azeredo e o seu coordenador financeiro já registraram isso nos seus depoimentos à PF de uma maneira cabal. Eu não tinha responsabilidade da organização, nem financeira da campanha de Eduardo Azeredo em 98”.

Mares Guiua denied the accusation and said he was not Azeredo’s campaign coordinator. “Azeredo and his campaign finance chair have already said so in their statements to the federal police, and said so categorically. I had no organizational or financial responsibility for Eduardo Azeredo’s 1998 campaign.”

According to IstoÉ magazine’s cover story, the scandal promises to be just as shocking and awesome as the PT scandal!

Or something like that.

I still say, it seems to me like the two scandals are actually one and the same. Same banks. Same banker. Run by the same bald Brazilian Abramoff.

And every single political party, it seems, has some explaining to do in the case.

In which case, it continually of astonishes me that these gibbering, moralizing crusades against one political figure or another are precisely what get in the way of passing political reforms that would satisfy those voices yelling, “Damn it, there oughta be a law!”

As Elio Gaspari says, “The folklore of corruption is good business — for the corrupt.” Wisest thing I think I have heard anyone say all year.

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