Bitcoin has gotten involved in yet another scandal, with no doing of its own.
According to local news sources, former officials from the government of Brazil have reportedly been involved in a corruption ring that has been going on for a while, at least a little over 17 years.
The scheme, which centered around the prisons located in the country that are controlled by the state, included falsification of data regarding the food expenses incurred against the inmates. It was reported that the involved, corrupt officials allegedly fabricated expense reports to overstate the cost of provisions, making off with over $22 million.
The role of bitcoin in the Brazilian prison scam
While the corruption ring has reportedly been in operations since 2001, long before cryptocurrencies were even conceptualized, Bitcoin became a part of it when it became one of the sources of money laundering for the funds generated through the prison scam.
It was mentioned that the involved officials and other parties had been using various means of money laundering for their almost 2 decades’ old scheme, and when Bitcoin rose in popularity, it seemed to be another worthwhile option for those associated with the scam.
While specific details of the money laundering practices and Bitcoin’s exact involvement in them were not shared by official sources at this point, further specifics could be shared once the case moves forward.
Brazilian officials in high places were involved in this prison scam that involved bitcoin
It was alleged that, like any other elaborate scheme, this corruption ring too had masterminds and friends in high places, the likes of former secretary of the state penitentiary system, Colonel Cesar Rubens Monteiro Carvalho, and former police chief, Carlos Marcelo Martins, both of whom were arrested on Tuesday, March 13.
However, the list of names connecting high officials from the former government does not end there, since it was further alleged that the operations were actually being led by none other than Sergio Cabral, the former governor of the State of Rio De Janeiro, who was charged and arrested last year in other well publicized accounts of corruption and money laundering after having served as the state governor for two terms.
Carvalho would make the fourth secretary from the Cabral administration who has been arrested. In the investigations of other cases, local police has so far arrested three other former secretaries of state, including the former secretary to the governor, the former secretary of construction, and the former secretary of health.
This very clearly points towards the possibility of there being a pattern of corruption under the Cabral government, which is gradually, yet certainly, unfolding and bringing out all the skeletons in the closet for the former administration.
The ongoing investigations for the prison food scam have reportedly seen 7 arrests so far, with the search being spanned across more than 27 locations.