Senator Flávio Bolsonaro (Patriotra-RJ) has been trying for nearly three months to get his preferred name in the Internal Revenue Service, the central body to unlock one of his defensive theses that seeks to nullify the origin of the investigation in the case of the “rachadinha”.
President Jair Bolsonaro’s son wants the appointment of the retired fiscal auditor Dagoberto da Silva Lemos. He is a former director of Sindifisco (union of the category), a position in which he pointed out the alleged practice of illegal access to fiscal data of public servants that he defended. The thesis is used by the senator to nullify the origin of the “rachadinha” case.
In the first half of July, Lemos had a meeting with the president and Flávio to discuss his future role in the position.
There was, however, resistance from the special secretary of the Federal Revenue, José Barroso Tostes Neto, who appointed auditor Guilherme Bibiani for the position. The post has been vacant since July, when the three-year term of former inspector José Pereira de Barros Neto ended.
In a statement, Flávio denied taking part in the choice of the future inspector and said that “this decision belongs to the president of the Republic”, although the law gives this attribution to the secretary of the Revenue. Lemos did not return to the report’s contact.
The Internal Affairs Bureau is a key organ to unlock the eventual confirmation of one of the senator’s defensive theses, that his fiscal data had been illegally accessed. It is her duty to investigate —and eventually disclose— the illegalities pointed out by Flávio’s lawyers allegedly committed by tax auditors.
Barros Neto had been resisting handing over information about access to the senator’s tax data to Flávio’s lawyers. The former magistrate is the second defense target for the president’s son to lose office. In December of last year, the fiscal auditor Christiano Paes Leme was removed from the head of Escor07, the Internal Revenue Service Office in Rio de Janeiro.
The two were mentioned in the senator’s defense petition delivered to federal government agencies in which they describe the alleged practices of irregular access to fiscal data.
Since last year, the senator’s lawyers allege that his client had illegally accessed tax data to provide information to the report by Coaf, the financial intelligence agency that pointed out the suspicious movements of his former advisor, Fabrício Queiroz.
The Coaf document is the pivot in the investigation of the “cracks” case, which led to the accusation against Flávio on charges of embezzlement, criminal organization and money laundering at the end of last year.
Currently, the accusation is weakened due to the annulment of the breaches of bank and tax secrecy of the investigation by the STJ (Superior Court of Justice).
The Coaf report, however, can be used to reopen the tally. Its eventual annulment for the illegalities pointed out would impede the continuation of the case, evaluates the defense of the senator.
Last year, Flavio’s lawyers called in the Revenue, Serpro (the state company that holds the tax data) and even Abin (Brazilian Intelligence Agency) to identify the alleged irregularities.
The Internal Revenue Service carried out a special investigation to identify access to Flávio’s data and the entire area surrounding the president, but the result of the investigation was not delivered to the senator’s defense. The tax authorities claim that making the auditors’ actions public would allow them to be harassed.
“The public servants would be exposed to criminal cooptation of individuals and legal entities, aiming at obtaining information relevant not only to their own fiscal and tax situation and to third parties, but of any investigative procedures in progress at the RFB”, states the opinion of the Comptroller General of the Union on the topic.
The senator tries in court, still unsuccessfully, to obtain this information.
Dagoberto Lemos, appointed by Flávio to the Internal Affairs, has already defended servers who alleged practices similar to those pointed out by the senator’s defense when he was director of Professional Defense at Sindifisco.
He participated in meetings to point out alleged illegal access to data from some of the auditors who signed the petition that inspired the senator’s new defense thesis.
Five tax auditors presented representation to Sindifisco against members of Escor07, pointing out the alleged practice of illegal access to tax data. A union council even issued a favorable opinion on the disaffiliation of four members of Escor07. However, the entity decided not to conclude the judgment, claiming that it was not the appropriate forum.
The auditors who used this thesis in court have also suffered successive defeats in an attempt to annul the investigative acts under the allegation that their data had been illegally accessed.
In addition to the dispute in the Internal Revenue Service, the issue has also mobilized the Federal Police, which decided to open an inquiry into alleged irregular access to tax data from authorities identified by the TCU (Tribunal de Contas da União). The subject, although of interest to the senator’s defense, also meets the wishes of ministers of the STF (Supreme Federal Court) and of the TCU itself, who entered into a collision course with the Revenue.
In a statement, Flávio Bolsonaro criticized former inspector Barros Neto for, according to him, not having done anything in relation to the TCU report. “In view of the omission, an investigation was officially launched by the Federal Public Ministry to investigate the facts”, says the senator, in a note. The court’s information, however, was provided by the IRS itself.