Coaracy Nunes, FINA & Brazil Swim Fed Boss Until Arrest, & Associates Jailed For Fraud

Coaracy Nunes - FINA Bureau member 2000 until his arrest in 2017 - Photo Courtesy: PBK

Fraud At Brazilian Swimming Federation 2012-2014 – Three Convicted

The Federal Regional Court of São Paulo has jailed Coaracy Nunes, FINA Bureau member and president of the Brazilian Confederation of Aquatic Sports (CBDA) until his 2017 arrest, for fraud.

His sentence includes a prison term of 11 years and 5 months and a further detention period of 3 year and 6 months for misuse of public funds. Nunes also received a 600-day financial penalty.

Ricardo de Moura, former technical supervisor of CBDA, and Sérgio Alvarenga, former director of finance, were also sent to jail. De Moura received 9 years prison and further detention period of two and a half years and a financial penalty, while Alvarenga was jailed for six years and was handed further detention of two years and a month, a financial penalty on top.

They were caught, charged and now convicted as part of the 2015 Operação Águas Claras – Operation Clearwater – a police investigation into criminality intended to make fraudulent gains from bidding processes related to sport and for diverting public funds to travel companies. Some trips – such as that of a junior swim team bound for FINA competition in Kazakhstan – were booked but never taken.

Crimes was committed while Coaracy was a member of the FINA Bureau (2000-2017) between 2012 and 2014. He was never stood down from the Bureau nor has the FINA leadership referred his case to the Ethics Panel, which would be able to recommend that he be stripped of the FINA honours he holds for his “services to swimming”. Nunes was not put up for re-election at the July 2017 FINA Congress after his April 2017 arrest.

The crimes involved “undue favour shown to Agência Roxy de Turismo Ltda and the misappropriation of the costs of travel, lodging and sustenance related to competitions, training camps within Brazil, including preparations for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

After his arrested in 2017, Nunes spent some of his time since in detention or under house arrest. That same year, swimmers wrote an open letter calling for wholesale reform at the federation. When the new officers were elected for the federation, FINA announced it would not recognise the CBDA election results, in support of Nunes.

Of the four charges, the former president of CBDA was found guilty of two: he made four fraudulent bids for the purchase of sports equipment with funds from the then Ministry of Sport and evidence of overcharging was also unearthed) and appropriation of funds originally intended for paying for a junior squad to attend a FINA event in Kazakhstan.

He was acquitted of two related charges: that the money ended up in the hands of delegates (the money remained in a CBDA account and it could therefore not be said that the money had left the federation); and that the three men used the federations’ legal services to defend themselves, which was not proven to be the case.

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3 years ago

Nunes is no longer a member of the FINA Bureau.