Son of Brazilian President Charged with Money Laundering


Palácio do Planalto

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro makes a statement in Apr. 2020.

Sydni Bratthauar, Staff Reporter

Prosecutors have charged the president of Brazil’s son, Sen. Flávio Bolsonaro, with commanding a criminal organization and laundering money between 2007 and 2018 when the senator was a state lawmaker.

According to The Associated Press, the charges against Sen. Bolsonaro and 16 others were leveled on Oct. 19. The prosecutors said that the senator had people on his payroll who weren’t required to work and returned part of their salaries to himself. Sen. Bolsonaro denied committing any crime and said that the courts wouldn’t accept the charge against him.

The Wall Street Journal said that the senator also accused the prosecutors of illegally obtaining information. He continued to accuse the charges as being a politically motivated attack on his father.

One of the senator’s four lawyers, Rodrigo Roca, said that the charges were “inviable because it is devoid of any hint of proof. It’s nothing more than a macabre and badly engineered tale.”

Sen. Bolsonaro’s former driver, Fabrício Queiroz, was thought to be involved and arrested in June. According to the BBC, Brazilian authorities found 1.2 million reais ($220,000 in American money) in a bank account belonging to Queiroz. Queiroz was arrested in a raid on a property belonging to Frederick Wassef, a former attorney for both President Jair Bolsonaro and his son.

Another article published by the BBC said that in December 2019, there were 24 properties raided by anti-corruption investigators. One of the 24 was a chocolate shop the senator co-owns in Rio de Janeiro. Investigators believe that the senator and Queiroz laundered money through the shop. Sen. Bolsonaro responded to the property raids in a YouTube video.

A state court in Rio de Janeiro will decide whether to accept the charges against Sen. Bolsonaro before the case can continue. More information will be released as the case proceeds.