Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Brazilian former IndyCar driver linked to money laundering scheme

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Former IndyCar and recent IMSA driver Ana Beatriz, who has raced more recently as Bia Figueiredo, has been linked to an investigation into alleged embezzlement and money laundering in her native Brazil.

Figueiredo, who is expecting her first child in July, has been connected to an investigation that has already led to the arrest of her husband and father-in-law. A complaint filed in Rio de Janeiro details a scheme to bilk vast sums of money from the state to operate a number of hospitals.

The complaint lists a lack of certification to operate medical facilities, pre-arranged contracts with vendors to receive the government funds, and over-charging for medical services and materials.

While Figueiredo’s father-in-law is positioned as the main person behind the scheme, the complaint also alleges the 35-year-old driver was a direct recipient of the ill-gotten funds, with just over $250,000 routed to B3Tres, a business that lists Figueiredo as the owner.

Over an eight-year span, the parent company led by Figueiredo’s husband and father-in-law, Instituto dos Lagos Rio, is said to have taken in more than $118 million from the state, with payments made to shell companies like B3Tres.

According to the complaint, “ did not even have the ability to sign management contracts with the State, but forged its technical training thanks to obtaining false technical certificates.” On the subject of embezzlement and money laundering, the complaint adds that Figueiredo and family have been “proven to have deviated a substantial part of the amounts.”

Prior to stepping back from racing to focus on motherhood, Figueiredo was a regular competitor in the Brazilian Stock Car series where Ipiranga, a Brazilian fuel distribution company, sponsored her car. In light of recent events, Ipiranga announced it has suspended its support of Figueiredo.

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