The lawyer of the former employee of Funcamp (Unicamp Development Foundation), in Campinas, in the interior of São Paulo, Ligiane Marinho de Ávila, 36, is suspected of embezzling funds from Fapesp (São Paulo State Research Support Foundation) intended to researchers, stated this Friday (9) that there is no investigation launched against the client, only hypotheses and surveys.
“What I can say is that, so far, nothing has been provided for the defense in terms of evidence. We were hired today, and in the morning I went to the police station where it was reported [o caso], the 7th DP, but nothing concrete, nothing is included in the investigation. These are hypotheses, surveys that they actually had about this supposed deviation and are imputing it to Ligiane”, said lawyer Rafael de Azevedo.
According to the defender, as there is no evidence, there is no ongoing investigation.
“There is nothing to say about the matter. Let’s wait, if there really is an investigation, of course, we will speak out and give due support to the press on the subject”, he stated.
Asked about the reason for the dismissal for just cause on January 18th under the allegation of deviations, Azevedo said that this discussion will be carried out in the Labor Court.
“This situation, what happens is a labor issue that will be discussed in the Labor Court. I was not hired for this topic, but, later, this matter will be discussed”, he concluded.
The 7th DP (University City) of Campinas stated that it is aware of the case and is waiting for the victims to present documents to decide the next steps and the classification of what happened.
The report found that the dismissal of the former foundation employee took place on January 18th, but the victims only went to the police station on February 1st.
The Campinas Criminal Justice Prosecutor’s Office stated that it received news indicating that the former employee was embezzling funds from Fapesp valued at R$2 million. It also requested that the crime and “possible involvement of professors from the institute who were responsible for the projects” be investigated.
“The news came without any information or documents”, highlighted the Prosecutor’s Office.
UNDERSTAND THE CASE
Fapesp (Foundation for Research Support of the State of São Paulo) opened an investigation to investigate a possible million-dollar diversion of resources destined for researchers at Unicamp.
At the end of last year, an audit by the funding body detected possible irregularities in the accountability of teachers linked to the Biology Institute of the state of Campinas. So far, alleged misappropriation of resources allocated to 28 teachers have been identified. Servers claim that the amounts subtracted could exceed R$2 million. Fapesp does not quote values. Unicamp, in turn, says that “the sum is huge”.
A preliminary investigation conducted by the institute’s management points to the actions of the former Funcamp employee.
Although the investigation indicates that the employee had embezzled the money without the knowledge of the teachers, Fapesp told the report that the researchers are responsible for the financial management of the resources they receive. The agency informed that, if the irregularities are proven or are not remedied, the teachers will have to return the amounts.
The alleged deviation was discovered when Fapesp identified irregularities in the reporting of a researcher at the Institute of Biology. When he asked for clarification, he discovered that the same was happening with other researchers in the unit.
At the same time that she became responsible for accountability, Ligiane opened, on April 12, 2018, a micro-company in her name, whose activity was the maintenance and repair of unspecified equipment and products. The company was closed in January this year — six days after he was fired.
According to the institute’s investigation, throughout this period, she issued several cold notes in the name of her company, as if they were for maintenance and other services provided to researchers, thus diverting Fapesp funds intended for research.
In a statement, Unicamp confirmed that the institute is investigating the possible deviation, but said it could not provide any information or details about the case at risk of harming the investigations.
Fapesp declared that it is continuing the investigations and says it has expanded the analyzes to other accounts carried out by the researchers in question.