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Pencil Pushing Is Mightier Than The Pen Drive

Prefeituraasfaltomarcia

The street where we live has been awaiting new asphalt for decades. It is like driving over the cobblestone streets in the New York financial district. The city has its many strata.

Source: Portal ClippingMP.

The Public Ministry has discovered, at the home of an accountant, the accounting records for the Asphalt Mafia, an organization that allegedly rigged public works auctions by passing budget amendment items in 78 São Paulo cities, according to Fausto Macedo and Ricardo Chapola. The spreadsheet contained the names of politicians, dates and sums supposedly paid to them in 2011 — R$ 3,048 million in all. 

Investigation. From their search of the accountant’s home, prosecutors fund a pen drive containing the names of politicians and the amounts they would receive in 2011. Operation Fratelli discovered fraud in the auctioning of public works in 78 São Paulo cities, using parliamentary amendments, Fratelli discovered.

The PM had found the secret books of the Asphalt Mafia, an organization infiltrated into at least 78 municipalities in the northeastern region of the state. In a pen drive seized from the accountant Donizete Dominical were found spreadsheets with the names of supposed beneficiaries of the scheme — most of them from the Workers Party — along with dates and amounts supposedly paid out in 2011. The total sum involved is R$ 3.048 million.

The hearsay linking the PT to the case should be taken at face value.

Prosecutors who helped dismember the conspiracy say the document represents “indications that these are accounting records of sums paid out as bribes to some state lawmakers.”

The price list is included in Appendix 16, Volume III, of the 252-page indictment handed over to state law enforcement — by the São José do Rio Preto office of GAECO, the state anti-organized crime division — two months ago.

Prosecutors are calling for the conviction of 30 defendants. They have not released a single name from the spreadsheet because it is up to the state high court and federal Supreme Court to try the cases of mayors and elected lawmakers.

Operation Fratelli, which revealed the  Asphalt Mafia, begin in April with the formation of a joint task force comprising the MPE, the MPF, and the Federal Police.  At the home of  Dominical, in Votuporanga (SP), detectives came away with some digital files.

Dominical is an accountant for the Demop Group, controlled by business executive  Olívio Scamatti, who was arrested seven months ago and accused of leading the Asphalt Mafia. Scamatti & Seller and Vias, works contractors in the Demop group, had supposed been the Demop’s best chance to win competitive bidding in allegedly fraudulent auctions. The diversion of public funds may have been as much as R$ 1 billion.

The document that cites politicians is an Excel spreadsheet with four columns and 81 rows. not all of them completely filled in, and with certain abbreviations and other annotations idiomatically or gramatically incorrect. In certain passages, only São Paulo cities are mentioned –Campinas, Embu, Juquitiba, Santa Adélia and São Paulo — along with the State of Tocantins.

Politicians whose names figured in these documents also appear in other aspects of the case. Some are cited in telephone wiretaps of third parties, business figures and civil servants involved in the plot, while still others appear as the addressee of letters from mayors in search of funding for highway repair and replacement of asphalt.

Dozens of these letters were seized from the home of lobbyist Osvaldo Ferreira Filho, aka Osvaldin, an aide in the state legislative assembly and the federal lower house to deputy  Edson Aparecido (PSDB), who is currenty the chief of staff to governor Geraldo Alckmin.

“More recent telephone calls from Osvaldo, overheard by the Polícia Federal, reveal that he, too, paid bribes to the group,”according to the indictment.

The prosecutors do not impute corruption or other crimes to the legislators named. They have sent the information they have to Brasilia in order for the Prosecutor General — Procuradoria-Geral de Justiça — and the Prosecutor General of the Republic — to determine their own interest in the case.

Fratelli is the result of five years of investigation. “The defrauding of public works contracting is indissoluly tied to the transfer of sums to municipal governments through deals with agenciesof the state and federal governments  funds that often are proposed and sponsored by lawmakers,” the GAECO prosecutors say.

GAECO warns of the “genuine corruption in the processs of allocating funds.” “(Scamatti) obviously interceded with legislators so that these allocations would go to the townships where auctions would be realized that would be won by the Scamatti family’s companies, all thanks to the “steering” of these auctions.

Prosecutors all point to the conduct of legislators, but with one reservation.” “Despite the  intervention of authorities with the right to a privileged forum (mayors and congress members), along with their aides and advisors, in getting  funds to where  they were destined in the first place in communities where public works were fraudulent, based on the analysis of telephone conversations of legislators,  no convincing elements exist to argue that those who enjoy a “privileged forum” are members of the group. That is  to say, that they maintained with Scamatti  & Co. a stable relationship for commission of a profusion of crimes.

Other prosecutors object: “The eventual conviction of these public figures, whose actions amount to occasional crimes that in themselves are distinct from the criminal conspiracy, has to be the subject of an autonomous proceeding by the competent authorities.

Il Fratelli Bologna

G1 (Globo) reported on the kickoff of Fratelli on September 17 of this year:

As 30 pessoas foram denunciadas à Justiça de Fernandópolis (SP) pelos crimes de formação de quadrilha, falsidade ideológica, corrupção passiva e fraudes em licitações que teriam acontecido na cidade. Entre elas, o ex-prefeito de Fernandópolis Luiz Vilar de Siqueira, e membros do grupo Scamatti.

O esquema de fraudes em licitações em prefeituras do estado e da região noroeste paulista é investigado pelo Gaeco desde 2008 e desencadeou na operação em abril deste ano. O Ministério Público Federal e a Polícia Federal também investigam contratos com verba da união. A maioria dos investigados são agentes públicos, que facilitariam as irregularidades.

O juiz da primeira vara criminal de Fernadópolis, Evandro Pelarin, avalia se vai ou não acatar as acusações. Os promotores do Gaeco informaram que antes dessa decisão não vão falar sobre o assunto.

O ex-prefeito de Fernandópolis Luiz Vilar de Siqueira disse que prepara a sua defesa do processo. Já o advogado de Olívio Scamatti e Maria Augusta Seller Scamatti diz que só vai se manifestar depois de ter acesso aos autos.