Brazil Federal Police Uncover National Scheme of Sentences for Sale

Money seized by Brazilian federal police on Operation Hurricane After an anti-corruption operation called Hurricane (the original name is in English) in Rio de Janeiro, which netted 25 big-fish arrests, including top judges, the Brazilian Federal Police launched this Friday, April 20, an offensive against São Paulo judges involved in a sentences-for-sale scheme. The new effort was named Operation Themis in an homage to the Greek goddess of justice.

While authorities haven't yet confirmed it seems that the Rio action led to the one in São Paulo, which apparently also involves illegal gambling like bingos and slot machines.  This is the largest police offensive in recent memory against the Brazilian judiciary.

At least three chief judges and two federal judges from the 3rd Region, an area that includes São Paulo, make the list of suspects. The operation is being conducted under secrecy of justice.

The Federal Police involved in the São Paulo operation asked the Justice for the arrest of chief judges, a Treasury prosecutor, 20 lawyers and military and civilian police agents, but the requests were denied by minister Felix Fischer from the Brazil's highest appellate court, the STJ (Supremo Tribunal da Justiça).

About 300 federal police agents took part in the latest operation Forty of them entered the TRF (Regional Federal Court) building located at Paulista avenue and seized documents from three chief judges' offices. The chief judges involved are Roberto Haddad, Nery da Costa Júnior e Alda Basto.

The federal agents also visited the offices of federal judges, Djalma Moreira Gomes and Maria Cristina Cukierkorn. While the building was surrounded by policemen carrying semi-automatic weapons the federal police men spent around three hours getting their evidence.

The Third Region's TRF counts on 42 chief judges, 273 judges and is responsible for about 50% of all federal rulings in Brazil.

The Federal Police also seized documents at Abrabin (Brazilian Bingos Association), which is headquartered in São Paulo. The seized material also includes computers, three cars and two motorcycles.

Operation Hurricane, in Rio, seems to have started last November, when federal agents invaded the law office of Virgí­lio Medina, the brother of the STJ's minister, Paulo Medina. In the night raid, which lasted a little over an hour, the police secretly filmed, photographed and photocopied a series of papers.

It's known now that at that time they found strong evidence that judicial decisions were being sold and discovered hints that among those involved might be even justices at the STJ (Supreme Justice Court) Brazil's highest tribunal for matters not involving the constitution.

All five judges detained are suspect of the same crime: selling sentences and preliminary injunctions, which most of the time benefit businessmen who operate illegal gambling businesses like bingo houses that offer slot machines, which are illegal in Brazil since 2000.

According to the police, judges and other workers were getting from US$ 10,000 to US$ 15,000 a month to look the other way and let the illegal gambling industry conduct their businesses.

Minister Medina, is the top authority being investigated by the federal police. His brother Virgí­lio was arrested charged with negotiating three of the minister's decisions. One of them, benefiting the gambling Mafia, cost about 600.000 reais, about US$ 300,000.

The minister says that he is honest and didn't know anything about the swindle between his brother and the organized crime. Curiously, however, the judicial decision was taken exactly in the terms agreed upon, a couple of weeks before, between Virgí­lio Medina and his criminal clients.

In phone conversations tapped by the police Virgí­lio is heard discussing the amount of the bribe with the lawyer for Betec Games, Sérgio Luzio Marques de Araújo. Betec had 900 of its slot machines seized by the authorities. Lawyer Medina started high asking for one million reais (about US$ 500,000). It took dozens of calls and personal meetings before the price went down to US$ 300,000. Later the Supreme Court overturned the preliminary order.

The gambling Mafia is so brazen-faced that they tried to approach chief Justice Ellen Gracie, after she ruled against them, according to the material collected by the federal investigators. The maneuver, however, didn't work.


  • Show Comments (11)

  • AES

    Joao: What is being done with the ‘convenient’? Police strike. Who is running Brazil? The people or the criminals, or the Swiss bankers aiding and abetting the rape of Brazil?
    Is not the strike of the task force significant? That the operation Hurricane is on hold.

    It is imperative that Brazil prosecute what they have to prosecute.

    It is imperative that Brazil pay the Police Infrastructure that it committed to.

    Money drives everything. Bovespa is going to 50,000 that is some big money, money demands feduciary transparency and judicial prosecutorial integrity. It is revealed that there is dry rot in the structure of the ship of state. There is a recrudescence, like the holes in Swiss cheese, or termite infested wood. It is time to go to the encologist and remove the cancerous tumor of indifference that allows this rape.

  • AES

    Should be enough to pay the promised increase in salaries.
    During the program, Globo showed exclusive images from the PF showing the fortress of the nephew of LIESA president À¢€œCapt. GuimarÀƒ£es,À¢€Â where agents found briefcases full of money, nearly R$10 million (US$5 million), in a wall with a false bottom. PF agents broke through the wall, which they suspected to be false, with sledgehammers.

    O dinheiro estava no escritÀƒ³rio de JÀƒºlio GuimarÀƒ£es, sobrinho do bicheiro AÀƒ­lton GuimarÀƒ£es, o CapitÀƒ£o GuimarÀƒ£es, presidente da Liga das Escolas de Samba do Rio de Janeiro (Liesa), tambÀƒ©m detido na Hurricane. Ao vasculhar o escritÀƒ³rio, policiais desconfiaram que um armÀƒ¡rio embutido poderia esconder uma parede falsa. Depois de arrancar o fundo do mÀƒ³vel, os agentes decidiram usar uma marreta contra a parede de alvenaria, que descobriram ser oca. Em seguida, examinaram o compartimento com uma lanterna e se entusiasmaram ao descobrir uma montanha de dinheiro. À¢€œMuita grana, moleque!À¢€Â, exultou um policial.

    The money was found in the office of JÀƒºlio GuimarÀƒ£es, nephew of the bicho banker and LIESA president, who was arrested in Operation Hurricane. While searching the office, police suspected that a built-in chest of draws might conceal a false wall. After pulling out the drawers, the police decided to use a sledgehammer on the masonry wall, which they found was hollow. Next, they inspected the compartment with a flashlight and were overjoyed to find a mountain of money. À¢€œLots of dough, dude!À¢€Â crowed one policeman.

    Eram dezenas de malotes recheados com maÀƒ§os de R$ 10 mil. Para contar o dinheiro, a polÀƒ­cia precisou usar mÀƒ¡quinas. Depois disso, os malotes foram transportados por helicÀƒ³ptero e carro-forte e ficariam no Banco Central.

    Dozens of briefcases were found, filled with R$10,000 packets of banknotes. To count the money, the police had to use counting machines. Afterwards, the briefcases were transported by helicopter and armored car to the Central Bank.

    A OperaÀƒ§Àƒ£o Hurricane realizou 25 prisÀƒµes nos Estados do Rio de Janeiro, SÀƒ£o Paulo, Bahia e no Distrito Federal e ocorreu apÀƒ³s

  • AES

    Police strike for better pay halts anti-corruption Operation Hurricane in Brazil
    Among the strikers was Renato da Porciuncula, director of
    intelligence, who coordinated Operation Hurricane, regarded by the
    Federal Police as its biggest-ever effort to battle corruption.

    The protest also halted the analysis of two tons of documents
    apprehended as evidence in the operation.

    In 2006, the Brazilian government said it would increase police
    salaries by 30 percent in July and another 30 percent in December, but the second increase has yet to be announced.
    Dont be cheap with the police. It is a mistake not to keep your word to the police. The world is watching the integrity of Brazil and its ability to keep a contractual commitment.

  • bo

    [quote]Joao: What is being done with the ‘convenient’? Police strike. Who is running Brazil? The people or the criminals, or the Swiss bankers aiding and abetting the rape of Brazil?
    written by AES, 2007-04-24 00:12:14[/quote]

    You obviously haven’t been here long enough AES to discover that the politicians and criminals run brazil, and they are one and the same! “The people” just sit back and say, “oh, well, what can we do?” While the people that have been put in positions of responsibility and trust only abuse their positions and the trust given to them and every now and again when one does get “caught”, it all “ends up in pizza”! Impunity is the “soup de jour” and transparency is something only to be revealed in womens undergarments.

  • Forrest Allen Brown


  • Simpleton

    There is hope
    Fingers crossed they empty the prison where the courrier was left to die to make room for those more deserving. Gotta get in there to take a peak after they clean it out because the swiss bank account number for the 100K he ferried is carved in the stone there.

  • ch.c.

    Viva Brazil……continued !
    Brazil uncovers corrupt officials. Federal prosecutors in Brazil say they have identified 137 politicians and more than 400 government officials involved in a corruption scandal. Prosecutors believe between $30bn and $60bn was illegally sent abroad between 1996 and 1999. Most of the money is believed to be from corruption and drug smuggling. It is potentially the largest corruption scandal to hit Brazil in more than a decade. (BBC News, September 6, 2004, summary by Sherldine Tomlinson)

    The above was in 2004. On December 18, 2004 Your Lawmakers decided NOT TO OPEN AN OFFICIAL INVESTIGATION !
    Chapter closed and filed ! Guess why !!!!! Laugh….laugh….laugh….laugh

    Ohhhhh….and on the sentences for sale, there is nothing new, Operation Anaconda in 2003 was on the same subject !

    As you can see and as I said , GUARANTEED that nothing will ever change in your dirty and smelly country.

  • ch.c.

    guess why I laugh !!!!!!!!!

    How many times was I nearly insulted when I wrote that ALL brazilians are corrupted to the roots, from the lowest levels with red tape from bureaucrats to Mr God, who said he was betrayed and that impunity will not be tolerated ?????

    In Brazil everything is for SALE at discounted prices !
    Such as lives costing around Us$ 500.- to 2500.- concerning the deaths squads.
    And probably much less for the sale of sentences….but there are many many many of them !
    Many title deeds for farm lands are are also faked, and have been sold twice or three times by those issuing the titles.
    In Para there are title deeds covering more than the total surface of the whole state !!!!!! Hard to believe….but true !!!

    No doubt a volume discount could be negotiated.

    Very sad that then your (IN)justice condemns to a 4 years jail term a young 19 years old girl because she stole ……
    a tube of butter !

    Everyone knows that those corrupted and arrested, will not go back to jail. Why ? Because….they could reveal what they know against
    all high ranking bureaucrats, politicians, police and various judges, including judges at the supreme court !

    Guaranteed that nothing will ever change ! You will remain in a state of anarchy !!!!!!

    Viva Brazil, Viva sugarcane ethanol, it will become mandatory very shortly for all Brazilians to drink a pint per day….to support the price !
    Lula already drinks it by a barrel per day !

  • Forrest Allen Brown

    so how much got put aside before the count
    And yet people say the roamdeep being taken by the navy brazil is a lie .

    yes and so was hitler death camps , the moon landings

    and a honest brazilian goverment worker

    what farie tail was that book in and whom wrote it

  • bo

    And now…
    all 25 are out of jail. Think any one of them will ever see the inside of a jail cell again?

  • Forrest Allen Brown

    Themis is on her hands and knees doggie style in brazil

    Make a good song or a movie of the week , could be the same judge that took the roamdeep from me .

    now lets go after the goverment that forgives its self and we will make a good land .

    so think twice before you post

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