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SFO secures over $7 million from convicted Brazilian money launderer

17 March, 2023 | News Releases

Today, the SFO recovered over $7,699,204 from convicted money launderer, Mario Ildeu de Miranda, after its investigation revealed he had channelled criminal proceeds through multiple international bank accounts using several different company names.

This is the largest ever amount seized by the SFO from a single bank account.

Mr Miranda, 71, was convicted of 37 counts of money laundering in Brazil in 2019 as part of ‘Operation Car Wash’, in which Brazilian authorities uncovered extensive and systemic bribery centred around state-owned oil company Petrobras. Mr Miranda, a former executive at Petrobras, was sentenced to over six years in prison and ordered to pay $24,750,000 in Brazil.

In August 2020, the SFO froze a UK bank account that contained over $7,699,204 following a report that these funds were linked to Mr Miranda.

The SFO’s investigation subsequently uncovered that these funds had been transferred out of Mr Miranda’s main Swiss bank account and channelled through other banks in Switzerland, Malta, Portugal, the UAE and the Bahamas before being deposited in London – where the SFO froze the account.

The investigation also exposed how Mr Miranda spent suspected proceeds of crime to fund his extravagant lifestyle. This included over $1 million on hotels and casinos in Las Vegas, as well as $95,000 on a new luxury car.

Mr Miranda remains the subject of two ongoing investigations into corruption in Brazil.

Lisa Osofsky, Director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), said: “Over two years, we unpicked a complex web of transactions across the world – exposing Mr Miranda’s attempt to conceal criminal proceeds and ensuring that the UK cannot be used as a hiding place for criminal assets.”