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Judge Accepts Accusation and Congressman Cunha's Wife Becomes a Defendant in Lava Jato

06/10/2016 - 10h09



On Thursday, June 9, Federal Judge Sergio Moro, who is responsible for the lawsuits of the Brazilian Federal Police's Lava Jato operation, accepted the accusation against Cláudia Cordeiro Cruz, the wife of the speaker of the lower house of Congress, Eduardo Cunha (PMDB-RJ), who was removed from office.

The decision makes Cruz a defendant in the Lava Jato operation.

Cruz was accused of money laundering and money smuggling - the funds allegedly came from embezzlement in the international board of directors of Petrobras.

"Public money was used to buy designer shoes and clothes," says Federal Attorney Deltan Dallagnol, one of the coordinators of the Lava Jato task force in Curitiba.

Investigators say that Cruz benefited from part of the US$ 1.5 million in bribes that Eduardo Cunha allegedly received to make feasible Petrobras's project to purchase a block for petroleum exploration on the coast of Benin, in Africa, in 2011.

Some US$ 1 million of an offshore account were used to pay for credit card bills and school tuition for the couple's children in the U.K. and the U.S. throughout a seven-year period (from 2008 to 2014).

Luxury purses, designer shoes and expenses in a tennis center in Florida also were identified by the Public Prosecutor's Office.

Cruz says that she did not know that the funds used to pay for the expenses had an illegal origin. However, the public attorneys say that her version is "not very credible."

The lawyer who is responsible for Cláudia Cruz's defense, Pierpaolo Bottini, said that his client "does not have any relation with the acts of corruption or money laundering" and that she does not know the other defendants or participated in or witnessed any illegal negotiations.

Eduardo Cunha said that his wife "had a bank account abroad in compliance with the Brazilian laws," and that the money deposited in those accounts does not have illegal origins.

Translated by THOMAS MUELLO

Read the article in the original language

Pedro Ladeira - 5.nov.2015/Folhapress
Eduardo Cunha (PMDB-RJ) and his wife, Cláudia Cruz
Eduardo Cunha (PMDB-RJ) and his wife, Cláudia Cruz

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