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«Clean Slate» Law | The Decline and Fall of Senator Torres?

Leandro Fortes of Carta Capital magazine breaks an astonishing story.

In 2006 the federal police obtained evidence of ties between gambling racketeer Carlos August “Charlie Waterfall” Ramos and Senator Demóstenes Torres (DEM-Goiás). Three reports signed by Deuselino Valadares dos Santos, head of the financial crimes bureau in Goiânia, reveal that Torres received 30% of the gross from illegal gambling, estimated at BRL 170 million over the last six years. At the time, Charlie Waterfall’s empire included 8,000 slot machines and 1,500 lottery offices. Given that this scheme was dismantled just last month, with Operation Monte Carlo, the accounting provided by police  indicates that the lawmaker’s share must have been some BRL 50 million. Police say the money was destined for Torres’ campaign for the governorship of Goiás and was paid out using a «caixa dois» scheme of off-the-books cash payments.

The information, obtained by CartaCapital magazine, is set forth in a confidential analysis of Operation Monte Carlo by the federal police’s Intelligence Bureau in Brasília. With this, we now know that Demóstenes Torres, a former prosecutor and police official who once served as state secretary of public safety, maintained direct ties with Cachoeira and his gang while at the same time clamoring against corruption and organized crime from the floor of the Senate.

True: DEM, the party of the old-school right, waxed especially moralistic over allegations of bribery for votes — the “big monthly allowance” scandal of 2005 — until its own governor of the federal district, José Roberto Arruda, was accused of the same illicit conduct … as was a political ally, the PSDB’s governor of Minas Gerais.

Torres had previously been actively involved in the hacking of the Senate voting panel in order to reveal the secret votes of the Senators and enforce party discipline.

Torres, presiding over the Constitution and Justice committee, sponsored the «ficha limpa» law which provides for loss of eligibiolity for candidates convicted of crimes.

Fortes continues:

Between February and August of 2011, Torres and Cachoeira exchange no fewer than 298 telefonemas, according to court-ordered wiretaps by the Polícia Federal. In the investigation opened by federal prosecutors, it is possible to confirm that the two talked more than once a day, even on weekends. The content of these conversations is not yet known, however.

And as if that were not enough, according to Fortes,

The senator managed to keep the investigation under wraps for so long using a tactic typical of mafia schemes: instead of defending himself, he bought off the federal police investigator.

Deuselino Valadares was one of 35 persons arrested as part of Monte Carlo on February 29. In federal police wiretaps, the racketeer Carlinhos refers to him as “Neguinho”. As part of DRCOR, he was responsible for all federal police activities in in Goiás. It appears that he was coopted by the gang not long after the connection between Cachoeira, Torres and three more state politicians came to light. The three were Carlos Alberto Leréia (PSDB), Jovair Arantes (PTB) and Rubens Otoni (PT).