Businessman goes from ‘scrap dealer’ to executive and is the target of suspicion with politicians – 01/10/2022 – Poder

Businessman Marco Antônio Carbonari, 57, has presented himself in different ways in recent years. He was an executive in the areas of engineering, technology and fashion and also said he was director of a company that works in health.

For the Federal Police and the Federal Public Ministry, however, he is a financial operator of schemes that involve money laundering, corruption and tax fraud.

In both 2020 and 2021, in investigations into alleged schemes involving a contract with Petrobras and a state-owned technology company, the PF even asked for Carbonari’s arrest. The Court, however, did not allow the measure on both occasions.

Carbonari has become a key character in police investigations since 2019. He appears in the news, however, always on the side, among politicians, businessmen and better-known operators.

He was the subject of an investigation that involves companies involved in the CPI of Covid, another related to a character in the monthly allowance and also one that investigates deviations in state science and technology. It is pointed out in the investigations as close to financial operators of MDB and PP politicians.

In addition, he was one of the exponents of a firm that had intermediate contact with the BNDES by Senator Flávio Bolsonaro (PL-RJ), son of the President of the Republic.

Sought, Carbonari’s defense says that he did not commit illicit acts and has 36 years of experience in the electronics and technology area, with international recognition, and for this reason he has provided services to various sectors.

Graduated in mechanical engineering at the Federal University of Itajubá (MG), Carbonari considers himself an “investor in Brazilian companies”.

In his social networks, he usually defends reforms that reduce taxation and mentions difficulties that hinder entrepreneurial activities in the country.

But the context surrounding the Carbonari companies indicates alleged serious irregularities related to the tax area. His main firm, IMA do Brasil, was the subject of an investigation by the Civil Police of São Paulo in 2014, on suspicion of tax crime.

More recent investigations, by the PF and the Federal Public Ministry, claim that the IMA sold overpriced scrap to allow the generation of cash for payments to politicians.

This company, whose CNPJ was created in 1982, has already labeled itself in several ways. In 2003, it claimed to be an engineering company. In 2008, it stated on its website that it had a “diverse activity”, which ranged from engineering to the commercialization of magnets and adhesive tapes.

Five years later, in 2013, it claimed to work with the environment, recovery of cellphone and computer boards and “high quality services” for “greater profitability through processes of inspection, verification and rework of parts or components”.

In 2021, in the midst of investigations, he started working in the fashion industry.

“Attracted by new challenges in meeting a market need, we decided to [a IMA do Brasil] enter with total focus on the fashion segment”, says a text on the company’s website. According to the statement, the used products are imported from Chinese suppliers.

Investigators and collaborators say that one of the people close to Carbonari is Milton Lyra, who has been named as the MDB’s political operator.

Lyra, according to the reports of the whistleblowers, asked Carbonari to provide cash for the payment of slush funds to politicians such as former senator Romero Jucá and former mayor Eduardo Cunha, both emedebistas.

To obtain these resources, Carbonari turned to allies such as lawyers Luiz Carlos D’Afonseca Claro and Gabriel Claro, both whistleblowers in the context of Operação Descarte, the PF and the MPF in São Paulo.

He acted as “responsible for the commercial area of ​​the office” — in practice, according to the collaborations, he attracted clients who wanted to launder money or evade taxes. In exchange, he kept a percentage of “commission” on the money that circulated in these irregular transactions.

Through a scheme that involved their office and shell companies, the Claros provided cash to interested parties.

Carbonari is also known as one of the main partners of Francisco Maximiano, owner of the companies Global and Precise Medicamentos and target of the Covid CPI.

Precise became the target of the commission of inquiry in investigations into suspected fraud in the negotiation for the purchase of the Indian vaccine Covaxin by the Jair Bolsonaro government.

In addition to the CPI’s investigations, Maximiano’s companies are also suspected of paying bribes to obtain contracts, for example, with Petrobras and the Post Office.

In emails accessed by investigators, Carbonari introduced himself as the director of Precise Medicamentos, although he was not a formal representative of the company or its attorney, according to the Federal Police.

In August 2020, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, he tried to buy rubber gloves and other medical items from an Indonesian company.

In addition, on a seized cell phone, the Federal Police indicated “messages exchanged between the two [Carbonari e Maximiano] dealing with the acquisition of vaccines in the months of September and October 2020”.

Carbonari was also a kind of spokesperson for Xis Internet Fibra, another Maximiano company that was involved in a controversy: Flávio Bolsonaro mediated a contact between the BNDES president and Max, on behalf of the fiber optic company. The case was revealed by Veja magazine.

In 2020, in an operation that investigated irregularities at Ceitec (a state-owned company linked to the Ministry of Science, Technology), the Federal Court in São Paulo authorized a search and seizure of Carbonari addresses. His brother, Mario Carbonari, who is a partner at IMA, was also targeted in the operation.

Carbonari is also being investigated in an operation that involved a former BMG executive who was convicted in the first instance for fraudulent management, in 2012, in an action that resulted from the monthly allowance, but was acquitted by the TRF-1 (Tribunal Regional Federal of the 1st Region).

In that inquiry, the Prosecutor’s Office says that Carbonari negotiated an overpriced sale of scrapped equipment to generate cash resources.

Defense says Carbonari is not an operator and there is no evidence against him

Carbonari’s lawyer, Gabriel Domingues, claims that his client did not commit any wrongdoing. He says that the accusations that the businessman is an operator are false and there has never been any indication of effective delivery of values ​​in kind or payments of advantage to politicians.

It also says that IMA’s operations have always been carried out with the delivery of goods and issuance of invoices.

He claims that the business of selling electronics and technology to Global e Precise was “lawful, real and with the issuance of invoices”. These devices were, according to him, for tracking patients.

“The employee Luiz Carlos Claro wrongly cited this business as a ‘form’ of money laundering and that the devices were ‘junk'”, said the lawyer.

“To prove the legality of the operation, the devices were taken to the Federal Police, where it was proved that they work and are registered with Anatel, following the other rules in the telecom area.”

Regarding the contract with Ceitec, he argues that the searches and seizures were based on an audit by the CGU (General Controllership of the Union) and the TCU (Court of Accounts of the Union) which were filed and, according to the lawyer, confirmed the provision of services.

Regarding the investigation involving BMG, he reaffirms that the negotiation was lawful and that IMA and Carbonari negotiated the sale of technology and electronic devices for tracking cattle.

Sought after, the lawyer of Luiz Carlos Claro and Gabriel Claro, Danyelle Galvão, says that her client continues to collaborate with the Justice and that she will not manifest.

Milton Lyra’s press office says he is not close and has no connections with Marco Antônio Carbonari. It also states that Lyra is not a financial operator and has never asked for money to pay cash two.

“The charges against him are based on news published in the press and plea bargains unaccompanied by evidence,” according to Lyra’s publicist.

Francisco Maximiano’s defense did not manifest itself. Previously, his lawyers had denied wrongdoing and called the phase of Descarte that investigated Precise and Global “pyrotechnics”.

The defenses of Eduardo Cunha and Romero Jucá did not manifest themselves.

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