By: Amaury Ribeiro Jr. and Rodrigo Lopes | Hoje em Dia
Translation: C. Brayton
Facing death threats, a retired accountant promises to deliver to the Congress, in the next several days, the more than 10,000 original volumes of civil and criminal cases against the Globo network, which has been charged with tax evasion, money laundering and crimes against the financial system.
The documents disappeared from the offices of the tax authority on the eve of the second round in the 2006 national elections.
In response to the charges, Globo issued a press release with a detailed time line of the case from its point of view, professing ignorance: I translate, below.
The disappearance of the file was confirmed by a government auditor who took part in the Globo investigation. After seeking financial gain in return for help with the case, an auditor assigned to sweeping the matter under the rug was later assaulted and went into hiding. He now sits in his hiding place, waiting for the proper moment to take his vengeance against TV Globo.
To conceal the disappearance of the case from senior tax authority officials, this witness alleges having cloned both cases, with a different number than the originals: 18.470011261/2006-14. A senior source at the tax authority affirms that the copies disappeared after auditor Alberto Zile requested the opening of a criminal, as well as a civil, case against the Marinho brothers. The objective of this maneuver was to let the criminal statute of limitations expire — in this case, five years. Furthermore, the civil suit was allegedly put together with numerous defects, in a bid to get the case dismissed.
No one at the tax authority knows the destination of these original case files, which as of today have still not been forwarded to the court.
The same ranking tax authority official said the cloned cases do nothing to ease the sense of panic at the agency. This because one need only consult the Treasury Ministry Web site — which is open to any citizen — to conclude that the original cases left their fingerprints: They have been listed as filed and open, without progress, since 2006, in the tax authority investigator’s office in Rio. Globo has not even made use of the CARF system to appeal the case. If it had appealed, that appeal would appear in searches of Comprot, a database of tax cases.
The Marinho brothers have another motive for concern. The case reveals much about the underworld created by the company in fiscal paradises. In this case, for example, it is accused of using companies in the Virgin Islands to pay Fifa for the transmission rights to the 2002 Word Cup.
In other words, instead of paying what it owed through the Central Bank, the broadcaster made use of a network of black market currency dealers led by Dario Messer — the same who laundered money for Rodrigo Silveirinha and figured as the leader of the “mafia of the auditors,”arrested in 2003 after sending millions overseas.
Globo issued a statement yesterday rebutting allegations that it had paid off a civil servant to make the case files disappear. Security video appears to show the commission of the act.
For its part, Globo narrates the case of the disappearing documents
In the face of false information circulating today, Globo explains that it has only just learned about the criminal conviction of the tax authority auditor condemned for stealing and concealing its case file. Globo is not a party to the case in question, does not know the civil servant in question and has no idea as to her motives.
The report above contains all of the relevant information regarding the facts in question of which it has knowledge. Like any large corporation, Globo appeals civil and administrative charges brought against it, as any taxpayer is free to do.
Globo again affirms its belief that the competent authorities will investigate the leaking of confidential data. The company will take all possible legal measures against any false accusation brought against it.
For its part, Globo narrates the stages in the suit in close detail and expresses surprise that the case file had disappeared.
On 12/21/06, Globo’s defense was rejected by the authorities. Several days after the trial, to its great surprise, Globo was informed that the case files had been lost by the tax authority. At that point, the case files were reconstituted, as always happens when case files are lost. The company acted voluntarily, furnishing authorities with copies of the original documents, thus making it possible to completely restore and continue the case.
The story as told by Globo is consistent with the note published by the Federal Public Ministry on the case: the moral is that leakers and whistleblowers are to blame. This is the conclusion of Tijolaço as well.
In conclusion, bearing in mind the confidential nature of the matter, the MPF, in defense of the norms of the democratic rule of law, expresses its consternation at the profusion of documents that apparently originated in the case file of a fiscal matter that has been criminally misdirected.
There are many interesting angles to the case, such as alleged dirty business with big-time corruption suspects from FIFA.
The Swiss judge, cited in the report by the Estadão, found that part of the money received by Havelange and Teixeira came directly from the broadcase contract for World Cup 2002.
Filed under: Brazil, Business, Corruption, Infotainment, Journalism, Law Enforcement, Media, Organized Crime, Politics, PR & Advertising, Public Relations & Advertising, Public-Private Partnerships, Taxes