Brazilian Bolsonaro allegedly involved in corruption scheme

By Gabriel Stargardter | Reuters

RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro was embroiled in a scheme to skim the salaries of his assistants while he was a federal deputy, the UOL website reported on Monday, citing what he said were audios from her former sister-in-law explaining her role in the alleged corruption racket.

The program, known locally as rachadinha, involves hiring close associates as employees and then receiving a reduction in their public wages from them.

Rio de Janeiro state prosecutors have formally filed a complaint against Federal Senator Flavio Bolsonaro, the president’s eldest son, for his alleged involvement in a similar racketeering while he was state legislator.

UOL’s story, based on audio recordings of Bolsonaro’s former sister-in-law Andrea Siqueira Valle, provided by a source, is the first time the president has been directly involved in a rachadinha scheme, despite numerous embarrassing questions about his role in Flavio’s affair. alleged racketeering in Rio. It comes as Bolsonaro sees his anti-graft credentials, which helped him get elected in 2018, called into question by a latent scandal over alleged corruption in the government’s vaccine buying efforts.

The president’s office did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment on the UOL story. A lawyer representing Bolsonaro contacted by UOL denied the illegalities.

In an audio recording, Andrea Siqueira Valle explains that her brother, André Siqueira, who was also an employee of Bolsonaro, was fired for refusing to hand over the agreed amount to the current president.

“Andre had a lot of problems because he never returned the good money that had to be returned,” she says on the recording.

“Finally, Jair said… ‘Enough. You can get rid of him because he never gives me the right amount of money.

Reuters was unable to confirm the legitimacy of the recordings or information contained in the story. Andrea Siqueira Valle declined to comment on UOL, as did a lawyer.

UOL also reported that on two occasions Siqueira Valle spoke to people close to her about the racket that was allegedly thrown from Bolsonaro’s office.

Charges against Bolsonaro for allegedly abusing public funds as a federal lawmaker could open him to federal investigation. However, Brazilian law does not allow a sitting president to be charged with a crime committed before taking power. Instead, prosecutors would have to wait until the president has left office to lay charges.

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