Power

A corruption scandal made possible by Brazil’s legal loopholes

Brazil's Covid inquiry is set to question lobbyist Marcos Tolentino in connection with corruption scandals involving the Health Ministry. But documents obtained by The Brazilian Report show there is a lot more to unearth regarding the shady lawyer

corruption tolentino
Marcos Tolentino (wearing a white face mask) is escorted by Senate Police agents ahed of his questioning by the Senate’s hearings committee. Photo: Edilson Rodrigues/SF/CC-BY 4.0

Until his companies were put under the microscope by the Senate’s Covid inquiry, lawyer Marcos Tolentino was a complete unknown to the Brazilian public. In Brasília, however, he had gained some notoriety in the corridors of power as a skilled lobbyist and “good friend” of Congressman Ricardo Barros, the government’s House whip and the lynchpin of vaccine-related corruption scandals within the Health Ministry.

Mr. Tolentino’s proxies officially sign and assume liabilities for the companies that he de facto controls. On paper, he only claims to own a small television network based in São Paulo, but hard evidence collected...

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