The Brazilian Court of Accounts detects millionaire fraud in subsidies for the pandemic

The Brazilian Court of Accounts (TCU) has detected a millionaire fraud in the first payment of emergency aid approved by the Government for the people and households most affected by the economic crisis derived from the coronavirus pandemic, according to their Initial conclusions, to which TV Globo has had access.

The preliminary report of the TCU on the first payment in April reveals that 35.8 billion reais (about 5,785 million euros) were delivered to more than 50 million people, including 620,000 who did not actually meet the criteria for it.

Recipients of this federal aid include 17,084 deceased and 15,850 people with incomes above the maximum threshold set to receive this subsidy, including millionaires, as well as relatives of politicians and even fugitives from justice, according to the news portal G1.

The attorney Zelia Luiza Pierdona has explained that in these “irregularities” they have identified people who received the payment without requesting it, which will be resolved through a refund, but also “fraud”.

Some 47,700 people who did not meet the established criteria have already returned the money, with which the public coffers have recovered some 40 million reais (about 6.4 million euros). If the “irregularities” continue, the TCU warns that the economic damage could reach more than 1 billion reais (about 161 million euros).

This emergency aid, which consists of a monthly income of 600 reais (about 100 euros), was created by the Government of Jair Bolsonaro in March to mitigate the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which already leaves 1.3 million cases and close to 60,000 deaths in the country, the second most affected worldwide, behind only the United States.

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