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Latino Daily News

Wednesday February 23, 2011

Former Brazilian President Lula and one of his Ministers Sued in Brazil

Federal prosecutors in Brazil have filed a lawsuit against former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and former Social Security Minister Amir Lando.

Prosecutor Luciana Loureiro Oliveira is accusing the two men of mishandling public funds to arrange for more than 10 million letters to be sent to retirees, informing them about low-interest payroll loans from Banco BMG.

Oliveira said the letters, sent in 2004, served no public interest and were sent 10 months after the law was passed allowing the loans, the news agency said.

“At the time of dispatch of letters, the only ‘new thing’ was the financial institution recently contracted and able to make the loans, namely, Banco BMG,” the suit says, according to Agencia Brasil.

Prosecutors believe the letters were sent merely as a means of self-promotion, praising the law and at the same time benefiting Banco BMG, the only bank approved to provide the loans.  The suit seeks to have Lula and former Social Security Minister Amir Lando foot the bill for the amount spent on the letters, about $5.7 million (9.5 million Brazilian reais).

Lula’s office said the former president is traveling and will not provide a comment until his legal team has reviewed the lawsuit.