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The non-existent employees were relatives of his second wife and returned part of the salary.
Audio recordings published Monday in Brazilian media directly implicate Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in an illegal salary payment scheme when he was a federal lawmaker, between 1991 and 2018.
The audio leak reveal that these payments were made in an inner circle of the then-legislator, which included 18 relatives of his second wife, Ana Cristina Valle, who for those years were appointed as ghost officials.
The agreement to appear on the phantom payroll would have been to return to the far-right politician 90 percent of the payment received, and it is believed that Ana Cristina was behind this maneuver.
A former sister-in-law of Bolsonaro, Andrea Siqueira Valle, explains in one of the recordings that the Brazilian president removed her brother André from the illegal payment scheme, since he refused to give her most of the money he had agreed to receive from his salary.
Siqueira Valle says in the recording that "André gave a lot of trouble because he never returned the money that corresponded (...) He had to return 6,000 reais (about 1,180 dollars) and he returned 2,000, 3,000 (393.59 dollars). It was like that for a while until Jair said: Enough. They can throw him out because he never returns the money that is due," she says.
The former sister-in-law confirms in one of the audios that she was a ghost employee of Flávio Bolsonaro, the ruler's eldest son, who is under investigation in the "Queiroz case" for the alleged crime of corruption when he was a lawmaker in the Legislative Assembly of Rio de Janeiro.
President Jair Bolsonaro's former sister in laws Andrea Siqueira says that, during his 27 years in Congress, he skimmed from staff salaries. Her brother, she says, was fired for refusing to kick back enough of his monthly paychecks. https://t.co/oDgvoAdh3L
Previously, it had been detected that Flávio's ghost advisors returned the money through his ex-driver and former advisor, Fabricio Queiroz.
An investigation by the Public Ministry of Rio de Janeiro revealed that Siqueira Valle received 674,900 reais ($132,674) between 2008 and 2018, as a ghost employee of Flávio Bolsonaro in the Legislative Assembly of this state.
In another recording, Siqueira Valle states that most of the money from her salary was collected by Army reserve colonel Guilherme dos Santos Hudson.
In addition to being the uncle of Bolsonaro's second wife, this officer is a colleague of the president since studying together at the Agulhas Negras Military Academy, in 1979, and was also an advisor to Flávio between June and August 2018.
The lawyer representing Bolsonaro, Frederick Wassef, told local media that these are "false, non-existent factual narratives." He added that "there was never a corruption scheme in the office of Congressman Jair Bolsonaro" nor in that of his children.