Brazilian Congress Wants Deeper Probe of Lula’s Former Adman

The final report of the Joint Parliamentary Investigatory Commission (CPMI) on the Post Office calls for the Public Defense Ministry to indict the advertising executive, Duda Mendonça, and his partner, Zilmar Fernandes da Silveira.

According to the rapporteur, deputy Osmar Serraglio (PMDB Party, state of Paraná), they are suspected of having practiced crimes against the National Financial System, fiscal irregularities, tax evasion, and money-laundering.

In his testimony before the CPMI, Mendonça said that he had received US$ 4.723 million (10.5 million reais) in a foreign account in payment of expenses connected with the PT’s 2002 election campaign.

According to Mendonça, another adman, Marcos Valério de Souza, requested that this account, known as the "Dusseldorf account," be opened in order for Souza to pay with campaign funds that hadn’t been reported to the Federal Elections Board.

One of the contradictions between Mendonça’s testimony before the commission and what the investigations revealed is his declaration that he hadn’t conducted transactions using money deposited in the "Dusseldorf account."

According to the rapporteur, "the total amount of debits over the period from June 18, 2003, to December 19, 2003, caused the account balance to disappear completely, and the account was closed in January, 2004, with a remaining balance of US$ 175.10."

Serraglio went on to say that the withdrawals from the account went to nine different accounts belonging to six different corporate entities.

He added that three of these accounts were in the same Bank of Boston as the "Dusseldorf account", in Miami, in the United States, and that the Trade Link Bank was responsible for depositing around US$ 1.14 million in the "Dusseldorf account."

"We are all aware of the connections between the Banco Rural and the Trade Link Bank. We also have information that the Banco Rural possesses accounts there."

The rapporteur said that the investigations showed that several of the deposits totaling US$ 1.14 million came from institutions linked to the Banco Rural.

"This fact reinforces the hypothesis that part of the resources used to pay Mr. Duda Mendonça might have their origin in resources that already existed in foreign accounts," Serraglio affirmed.

In his report the lawmaker points out that the investigations need to dig deeper, since the commission was unable "to discover all the nuances surrounding this matter."

Agência Brasil

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