Businessman Eduardo José Barros Costa, known as Eduardo DP, suspected of operating a scheme to embezzle funds from parliamentary amendments alongside the Minister of Communications, Juscelino Filho (União Brasil-MA), kept at least 16 bank cards and two stamps from different companies.
The items were seized by the Federal Police in July 2022. For investigators, the case reinforces the thesis that Eduardo DP runs a network of shell companies in the name of oranges to be able to defraud public works contracts made in Maranhão.
As revealed by Sheetthe PF claims that Juscelino —at the time a federal deputy— and the businessman established a criminal relationship to divert resources from Codevasf, the federal state company handed over to the center during the Jair Bolsonaro government and maintained in this way by Lula (PT).
The PF says that the stamps are from the companies Construservice and Topazio and register the name Eduardo as “president director”. The businessman denies being the owner of the companies, but investigators state in a report delivered to the STF (Supreme Federal Court) that the seized material “confirmed the ownership in fact”.
The objects were seized in the first phase of the Odoacro operation. In the same action, the PF accessed Eduardo DP’s cell phone, which had conversations from 2017 to 2020, including with Juscelino Filho.
The messages show Juscelino, during the period in which he held the position of federal deputy, talking to the businessman about the allocation of amendments, works and payments to third parties.
For researchers, the dialogues show a relationship of “proximity and promiscuity” and “intense negotiations” regarding the execution of works paid for with amendments.
The police also cite revelation from the Sheet that Construservice became the second largest beneficiary of Codevasf contracts, using money to win bids.
“To reach this size, ‘Eduardo DP’ relies on a conglomerate of shell companies, in addition to tentacles in Codevasf itself and in city halls that sign agreements with the aforementioned public company”, says the PF report.
The police state that the cards and stamps are “in the name of individuals involved, confirming the thesis of de facto ownership of the companies and money laundering.” The names of the card holders, however, are illegible in the document obtained by the report.
The investigations into Construservice’s performance in Codevasf contracts gained momentum from reports from Sheet published in May 2022.
In September 2023, in the third phase of the Odoacro operation, the sister of the Minister of Communications, Luanna Rezende, was the target of a search and seizure by the PF and was removed from her position, mayor of Vitorino Freire (MA), for order of STF minister Luís Roberto Barroso.
The PF also requested searches of Juscelino Filho’s addresses, but Barroso denied the request.
Wanted by Sheet, the minister’s office sent a note signed by his lawyers. They say there is nothing illegal in the works and call any suspicion of Juscelino’s personal benefit through the amendments an “absurd illusion”.
“There is no irregularity in the works, whose amendments meet the demands of the population, as already clarified to the authorities. Parliamentary amendments are a legitimate and democratic instrument of the National Congress and all of Juscelino Filho’s actions were lawful.”
“These are absurd conclusions that Juscelino had any personal benefit from his parliamentary activity, especially constructed from supposed messages without known origin or reliability”, completes the note signed by lawyers Ticiano Figueiredo and Pedro Ivo Velloso.
Lawyers Daniel Leite and Tharick Ferreira, who defend Eduardo DP and Construservice, said that “although they are convinced that the increpation is unfounded, it is not up to the defense, for now, to reveal details of the procedural process”.
The Federal Public Ministry also pointed out, in July 2022, that there were two active CPFs in the name of Eduardo DP.
“It should be noted that the cancellation of another 09 (nine) CPFs in the name of the person currently in custody has already been determined by the court of the District of Dom Pedro/MA”, states the same document that forms part of the process in the Federal Court of Maranhão related to Odoacro.
In another action, the businessman was convicted in 2020, by the Maranhão Court of Justice, due to the use of false documents. The sentence was terminated last month due to the statute of limitations for the crime.