Now, Brazil’s Finance Minister Also Accused of Taking Bribes

Attorney Rogério Buratti said today in a deposition in the city of Ribeirão Preto, interior of the state of São Paulo that then mayor of the city and current Brazil’s Finance Minister, Antonio Palocci, received 50,000 reais (US$ 21,000) a month from the company Leão Leão in charge of the city’s garbage collection service.

At that time, Buratti was an aide to Palocci. The information was given by government prosecutor Sebastião Sérgio da Silveira, one of people responsible for the deposition.


According to Silveira, the middleman in the negotiations was the former-secretary of Palocci, Ralf Barquete dos Santos. “He said that the scheme was arranged with Palocci and that Ralf was the man who received the money.


“The withdrawal was made in cash from the Banespa and Bradesco banks, always through fake invoices that were bought in the market. The invoices were either supplied by the beneficiary or the Leão company supplied them,” he explained.


“The arrangement was done with the directory and Ralf went every month to the Leão company to pick up that money “.


The prosecutor said that Buratti explained that the payment arrangement continued during the government of Gilberto Maggione, after Palocci had left city hall to become the Finance Minister.


According to the prosecutor, the scheme involved, as well, other city halls in the state of São Paulo, but the payment was made differently.


“In Ribeirão Preto, payment was not based in percentage, because, according to him, the price would be too steep. In other cities, the payment varied around 5% to 15% of the revenue”, the prosecutor explained. Buratti added that in Matão (São Paulo state), for example, the arrangement asked for 15% of the contract to be paid as graft.


The prosecutor, however, said that Buratti did not know if the money was sent to the national directory of the PT in São Paulo.


“He said that he heard from Ralf that Palocci determined that this money be delivered to the PT directory in São Paulo”, said Sebastião.


“He affirms that 50,000 reais were sent to the then mayor of Ribeirão Preto. It was Minister Palocci minister at the beginning and, later, Gilberto Maggione”, he said.


Yesterday, the Public Ministry gave Buratti the benefit of  rewarded delation. He will be able to have his sentence reduced in exchange for information.


“He is collaborating, talking everything. And what he is saying check what other proof that we have,” the prosecutor explained.


ABr

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