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The Alstom Affair | Matarazzo Missed


Screenshot from 2013-10-14 09:24:37

In Brazil, savage capitalism is not a metaphor: –Luz Ruffato

Source: Brasil 24/7.

247 – Swiss authorities have proven to the Public Ministry (MP), based on documents, that an ex-director of the CPTM — S. Paulo’s commuter rail system — received € 800,000 as a bribe from French engineering firm Alstom.

According to a story broken by Fausto Macedo of the Estado de S. Paulo, the money was deposited between 1997 and 1998, during the first Covas governorship.

Swiss investigators say they are convinced that this is money set aside for a bribery scheme set up by the French firm in order to favor formation of a cartel in an auction for the renovation of train cars of the CPTM.

This “bribery pipeline” is said to have continued in force during the governorships of  José Serra and Geraldo Alckmin, as accused by German multinational Siemens, which entered into a plea bargain with the antitrust agency CADE.

Muddying the waters, recent press coverage has attempted to cloud the issue of whether Siemens is really a re confessa in its plea deal with CADE.

In Switzerland, Alstom has paid the court  US$ 43.5 million in order to suspend a proceeding in which it was accused of bribery and money laundering in Brazil.

In the course of the proceedings, executives confessed distributing US$ 6.5 million to persons in the state government of São Paulo,  in exchange for a contract worth  US$ 45 million for the expansion of the subway system between 1998 and 2001.

In the U.S., in April of this year, an Alstom exec was sentenced to prison for corrupting public officials. In  Zâmbia, Alstom was obliged to pay back US$ 9.5 million and banned from taking part in World Bank.

And in Brazil? No punishment so far. At the time all this was going on, David Zilberstjan, former son-in-law and a person of influence in the Fernando Henrique government, was state Secretary of Energy from 1995 to 1998, under Mario Covas.

He was succeeded in 1998 by current city legislator Andrea Matarazzo, the right hand man of former governor  José Serra. The Transport Secretary at the time was Mauro Arce, a trusted intimate of the PSDB leadership, who remained in office for three consecutive governments.

A mediation was allegedly conducted, according to formal charges by Alstom in the Swiss court, between sociologist and impresario Claudio Luiz Petrechen Mendes, a former aide to Robson Marinho — himself an ex-president of the state assembly, former president of the accounting tribunal (TCU) and currently a federal deputy. He was among the founders of the PSDB and a loyal Covas follower.

The Swiss government declared that Marinho had socked away US$ 3 million in Swiss banks, and is suspected of money laundering.

A São Paulo court has issued a warrant allowing police to access the confidential financial details of 11 persons, includiing  Andrea Matarazzo, who took part in the scheme of “slush funds” during the campaign to reelect Fernando Henrique Cardoso in 1998, and helped to exchange nearly US$ 20 million with Alstom.

The warrant authorized by the judge covers the period 1997 to 2000. The scoop belongs to Fausto Macedo, of the Estado de S. Paulo. Those affected are:

  1. Andrea Matarazzo
  2. Eduardo José Bernini
  3. Henrique Fingerman
  4. Jean Marie Marcel Jackie Lannelongue
  5. Jean Pierre Charles
  6. Antoine Coulardon,
  7. Jonio Kahan Foigel,
  8. José Geraldo Villas Boas,
  9. Romeu Pinto Júnior,
  10. Sabino Indelicato,
  11. Thierry Charles Lopez de Arias, and
  12. Jorge Fagali Neto, (ex-president of the Metrô authority).

On August 6 of this year,  247 published the information that  Matarazzo had been indicted by federal police. On August 13, another report pointed to R$ 3 million raised from Alstom and diverted into the “slush fund” of the campaign to reelect Cardoso. – a story that at the time was also featured in the Folha de S. Paulo and Veja magazine.

Despite these indicators, however, Matarazzo and senior  PSDB leadership in São Paulo are being spared [by the press]. With the opening up of the books, hunting season is open, even if there remains a certain reticence about the case.

G1, for example, reported that 11 persons were indicted. The essential fact, that Andrea Matarazzo was one of them, was not mentioned.