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Harry Cassin
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Former Brazil president acquitted of graft

Brazil’s Federal Supreme Court acquitted former President Fernando Collor de Mello of corruption charges.

The court Thursday said prosecutors failed to prove Collorwas directly involved in diverting public funds through public contracts.

He was the head of state from 1990 to 1992.

“There is no proof or concrete evidence against the suspect, only unproven elements gathered during the investigations,” the court ruled.

Collor was accused with a group of businessmen of embezzling public funds and laundering money in bank accounts set up using fake names or nominees.

The case was called the “mensalao,” or monthly payout.

The first mesalao trials opened in 2012.

The allegedly embezzled money, prosecutors said, was used to buy votes in the congress.

“National Deputy Attorney General Ela Wiecko said Collor, a member of the Brazilian Labor Party, knew about the scheme, which led to the recent conviction and sentencing of several party leaders,” the Global Times said.

Collor resigned the presidency in September 1992 to avoid impeachment.


Richard L. Cassin is the Publisher and Editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.

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1 Comment

  1. This is a matter of high interest. As proven by this case, the power of mere allegation to one’s reputation precedes any final conviction. Although, there may have been a confusion or some loss of meaning due to translation. Collor’s case actually does not have any relation with Mensalão; the Brazilian Labor Party (PTB) of Collor is not the same Labor Party (PT) of Mensalão and there are several years between the cases. Yet, both of them regard corruption in Brazil.

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