HomeNewsBriefFmr. Brazil President Tied to Another Corruption Scandal
BRIEF

Fmr. Brazil President Tied to Another Corruption Scandal

BRAZIL / 2 NOV 2015 BY MICHAEL LOHMULLER EN

Brazil's former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva once again finds himself embroiled in a corruption scandal, this time via his son, further damaging the well-liked politician's image and adding to the woes of beleaguered President Dilma Rousseff.

On October 26, Brazilian police searched the São Paulo offices of sports marketing firm LFT Marketing Esportivo, which is owned by Luis Claudio, the son of former President Lula da Silva, reported Reuters.

The raid stemmed from a tax-fraud investigation -- known as "Operation Zealots" -- into a group of companies that allegedly bribed officials that were on a tax appeals board within Brazil's Finance Ministry in order to influence its rulings.

Investigators are seeking to determine if Luis Claudio received illegal payments from a lobbyist suspected of receiving tax breaks for car makers in Brazil by bribing government officials. According to The Wall Street Journal, federal investigators have summoned Luis Claudio for questioning.

Operation Zealots began in 2014, and police say the tax-fraud cases under investigation involve sums totaling nearly $5 billion.

InSight Crime

Lula has not been directly implicated in Operation Zealots, but his son's involvement in the case further damages the image of the man Newsweek magazine once called "the most popular politician on Earth."

Lula's reputation had previously been tainted by investigations into a separate kickbacks-and-bribery scandal at state-run oil company Petrobras, known as "Operation Car Wash." Most of the corruption allegedly took place during his administration, and the Supreme Court has ruled Lula can be questioned as part of ongoing investigations into Petrobras' dealings.

SEE ALSO: Brazil News and Profiles

Lula is more directly tied to a third criminal case. He is currently being investigated for influence peddling after leaving office in 2010, under suspicion of accepting illegal payments to promote Brazilian companies overseas. Lula has defended his practices and denies any wrongdoing, saying he "will survive" investigations.

Nonetheless, Lula's links to three investigations may feed into popular discontent over government malfeasance and the scale of the corruption taking place. For instance, individuals and companies involved in the Petrobras investigations recently agreed to give back to the Brazilian government a total of $622 million.

This succession of government corruption scandals has helped torpedo the popularity of Lula's anointed successor Dilma Rousseff, while undermining support for their Workers' Party and possibly frustrating a potential 2018 presidential bid by Lula.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

BOLIVIA / 19 JUN 2018

Police in Bolivia have captured three alleged members of one of Brazil's most powerful criminal groups after a brazen armed…

ELITES AND CRIME / 1 MAY 2018

The death of a key ally, an uncertain future for his political party and abuses by his interior minister could…

BRAZIL / 11 SEP 2018

New immigration restrictions announced by some countries in Latin America to stem the tide of migrants fleeing Venezuela could create…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Unraveling the Web of Elites Connected to Organized Crime

27 JUL 2021

InSight Crime published Elites and Organized Crime in Nicaragua, a deep dive into the relationships between criminal actors and elites in that Central American nation.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime’s Greater Focus on US-Mexico Border

20 JUL 2021

InSight Crime has decided to turn many of its investigative resources towards understanding and chronicling the criminal dynamics along the US-Mexico border.

THE ORGANIZATION

Key Arrests and Police Budget Increases Due to InSight Crime Investigations

8 JUL 2021

With Memo Fantasma’s arrest, InSight Crime has proven that our investigations can and will uncover major criminal threats in the Americas.

THE ORGANIZATION

Organized Crime’s Influence on Gender-Based Violence

30 JUN 2021

InSight Crime investigator Laura N. Ávila spoke on organized crime and gender-based violence at the launch of a research project by the United Nations Development Programme.

THE ORGANIZATION

Conversation with Paraguay Judicial Operators on PCC

24 JUN 2021

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley formed part of a panel attended by over 500 students, all of whom work in Paraguay's judicial system.