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Alstom Case | “Feds Indict 11 in Case from 1998”


A follow-up to

The story names only Matarazzo and Fagali. I assume we are talking about the same story on the indictment of ten that ran yesterday. I could be wrong, this is a little confusing.

The story has few new details to offer. Indeed, the story deals with an early chapter in the novela of the Great Sambodian Carnaval of Bribe, in 1998. The involvement of Societe Generale is one new fact, I think. In any event, Globo is knocking itself out producing infographics on the workings of the scheme (see below). 

The PSDB continues to complain of the publication of leaks from the CADE investigation. You cannot blame them, I suppose. Leak journalism is one of the lower standards of the journo’s profession.

Source: Jornal da Globo

The federal police (PF) have indicted 11 persons for alleged participation in a corruption scheme involving São Paulo government officials and a French multinational. The events took place in 1998.

The PF says the bribe was intended to help bring about a contract between Alstom and EPTE, at the time a state-owned energy transmission company.

According to the investigation, the energy company applied for credit overseas, from the French bank  Societe Generale, in the amount of R$ 72.7 million. The money was earmarked for the acquisition of equipment from the Alstom group. The contract was awarded without competitive bidding. Police say the contract was only possible because Alstom came up with a bribery scheme benefiting São Paulo civil servants.

The accusation states that the bribery scheme used persons with offshore bank accounts who received funds from the Alstom group “and then passed them along to São Paulo state civil servants, during the first semester of 1998.” At the time, Mário Covas of the PSDB was governor.

One of the accounts belonged to Jorge Fagali Neto, police said. At the time, when Fagali was financial director of the federal postal service, Correios, there is evidence he had open access to all the state secretariats.

Jorge Fagali Neto was indicted when the investigation concluded that he was part of a scheme to distribute money to São Paulo officials, maintained an undeclared offshore account, and concealed the origin of the sum received for distributing bribe payments.

According to the Estado de São Paulo, MCA Uruguay was one of the offshore companies used to launder the bribe money.

The PF also say that Andrea Matarazzo, in his capacity as state Secretary of Energy and chairman of the board of  EPTE was fully cognizant of the entire scheme.

In a statement to police, the president of EPTE at the time, Henrique Fingermann, said that Andrea Matarazzo knew of the proceedings that led to the credit contract with Societe Generale.

In the view of the PF, there is evidence that Matarazzo – indicted for bribe-taking – had benefited, along with the PSDB, from the scheme of undue advantages architected by Alsom. In all, 11 persons were indicted in August 2012. The case was forwarded to the federal public ministry (MPF) but the case went nowhere as prosecutors demanded more information on the case.

The attorney for EPTE says he has not had access to the PF investigation and that the statute of limitations has expired.   “Based on the fact that the statute has run,  my clients deserve a writ of habeas corpus,” says Pedro Iokoi.

Prosecutor Rodrigo de Grandis, who is overseeing the case, said that he has called for further investigation and that in his opinion, the statute of limitations has not run.  “That is for the MPF to decide. If he petitions with some sort of legal argument, I will analyze it,” he said.

Ex-Secretary of Energia for the state of  São Paulo, Andréa Matarazzo said the attempt to tie his name to supposed bribes is  nonsense and that during his time as secretary, he had no knowledge of, never discussed, and never signed any of the additives and contracts under investigation. “Seeing my name involved fills me with indignation and disgust,” said Matarazzo.

It is amazing how consistently the PSDB and its spokespersons make use of the emotional appeal. Indignation, disgust, outrage … It does not seem to work out very well for them. They should consider changing PR firms.

According to ex- Correios director Jorge Fagali Neto, the MPF has not accused him of any criminal act. He says he did not interfere in any of the companies who signed contracts with  Alstom or Siemens.

MCA Uruguay and ex-president of  EPTE, Henrique Fingermann, could not be found to comment.

In a note, the PSDB repudiated what it called an atempt by certain parties to involve the PSDB and its members in the case, without evidence.

The party said it does not tolerate corruption and hopes the cases will be investigated and guilty parties punished.