WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM | JUL 2022 62 THOUGHT LEADER - EDWARD ROCHA DE CARVALHO HowWhite-Collar Crime is Prosecuted in Brazil Brazil has a non-adversarial court system, wherein significant power resides with the judge and prosecution. This, together with other unique facets of the legal system, sets Brazilian whitecollar criminal investigations apart from those familiar to foreign legal practitioners. In this article, experienced criminal lawyer Edward Rocha de Carvalho provides a more in-depth look at these aspects of the Brazilian system and how they affect the practice of law in his jurisdiction. prosecution, and they can also conduct their own investigations. We also have different institutions that supervise the use of public money, and they can also report suspicious activities to the authorities (i.e. the CGU – Union´s General Control). Depending on the offence, the investigation should be handled by state or federal authorities, and federal judges are usually more technically prepared to deal with cases. What are some of the possible repercussions for white-collar crimes in Brazil? How can an attorney support a defendant in achieving the best outcome? Money laundering: 3-10 years. Tax evasion: 2-5 years. Corruption: 2-16 years. Transnational corruption: 1-10 years. An attorney can detect and act to correct abuses by the prosecution and lower courts, asking for the dismissal of the charges, for them to be classified as administrative offenses, or even negotiate plea deals for individuals and leniency agreements for companies. Besides that, of course, we have to learn the client´s business to understand better how to help them and conduct a thorough investigation of the case and its specifics if we have to go to the What constitutes a whitecollar crime in Brazil, and what types of whitecollar cases do you most commonly work on? These are crimes described in specific laws against the financial system, such as tax evasion, money laundering and corruption. These offences constitute our central core of practice, especially when multinational elements are involved, and we have a team whose members each possess at least a Master’s degree in these relevant areas. How do Brazilian authorities initiate a white-collar crime investigation? How does this process vary depending on the crime committed? A central financial activity control organ (COAF) detects and reports suspicious financial activities to the police and the The Brazilian legal frame is substantial, and sometimes an action taken by the client can be seen as illegal by prosecutors when it is in fact perfectly legal.