5 November 2020
Brazilian prosecutors on Wednesday charged President Jair Bolsonaro’s son Flavio with embezzlement, money laundering and operating a criminal enterprise from 2007 to 2018, when he was a state lawmaker. The public prosecutors’ office posted on its website the charges levelled against him.
Bolsonaro, 39, was elected to the Senate in the same election that swept his father to power in 2018. Prosecutors allege the senator had people on his government-funded payroll who weren’t required to work and who had to return part of their salaries to him.
His former driver and fixer, Fabricio Queiroz, is also accused in the alleged scheme. Fifteen other people are also accused. Neither their names nor the nature of their offences were revealed by the public prosecutors.
Reports emerged in August that First Lady Michelle Bolsonaro had received 21 unexplained bank deposits from Queiroz from 2011 to 2016. Prosecutors accuse Flavio Bolsonaro of embezzling $ 850,000 in all.
In 2018, auditors identified a series of transfers to an account held by Queiroz for a total of around $375,000 at the time.
Jair Bolsonaro came to power on a mandate to rid the country of corruption. Now, people are skeptical of his ability fight corruption. Former Justice Minister Sergio Moro, resigned on the grounds that the president had sought to intervene inappropriately in the federal police.