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News > Brazil

The 'Ranchadinha' Case Reveals How the Bolsonaro Clan Got Rich

  • President Jair Bolsonaro (C) and his sons Flavio, Carlos, Eduardo, and Jair Renan, Brazil.

    President Jair Bolsonaro (C) and his sons Flavio, Carlos, Eduardo, and Jair Renan, Brazil. | Photo: Twitter/@revistaforum.

Published 15 March 2021

In Brazil, the "Rachadinha" is a corruption practice in which public payrolls include "ghost employees" through whom politicians receive a portion of their salaries.

The Brazilian outlet Universo on Line (UOL) published an investigation that revealed details of the "Ranchadinha", a corruption and money laundering scheme which directly involves the family of President Jair Bolsonaro.


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The term "Rachadinha" is popularly used to designate a corruption practice in which the payroll of public institutions includes "ghost employees" through whom corrupt politicians receive a portion of their salaries.

Flavio Bolsonaro set up this scheme in Rio de Janeiro's Legislative Assembly (ALERJ). Later, it was replicated by both his father in the Lower House and his brother Carlos in Rio de Janeiro City Hall.

The UOL investigation reveals the use of this corruption scheme in four cases. In one of the cases related to the then Federal lawmaker Jair Bolsonaro appears his former sister-in-law, Andrea Siqueira Valle, who worked from 1998 to 2006 in his office. Another case shows that four employees gave 72 percent of their salaries to the Rancadinha operators, one of whom was Fabricio Queiroz.

The secrecy on bank accounts related to this corruption scheme was lifted in September 2020. From that moment on, journalists began to analyze over 607,552 bank transactions that were carried out among some 100 accounts owned by people linked to the Bolsonaro Clan.

"The high percentage of use of cash is indicative of an illegal act. It becomes even stronger when considering that several people, from the same workplace, acted almost in the same way," Sao Paulo Prosecutor Paulo Roberto Livianu said, as reported by UOL.

As of Monday morning, Bolsonaro and his sons had not commented on the findings of the Brazilian journalists.

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