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Artículo Brazilian 'WhatsApp mayor' jailed for 14 years after stealing millions from poor town News


Brazilian 'WhatsApp mayor' jailed for 14 years after stealing millions from poor town



Lidiane Leite had been on the run since 2015, but handed herself in and will now go to prison for nearly a decade-and-a-half

Anna Freeman

04 Diciembre 2017 12:36

A Brazilian mayor who governed her town via WhatsApp has been jailed for at least 14 years for embezzling millions from its education budget.

Lidiane Leite went on the run in August 2015 when she was accused of taking the money form the town of Bom Jardim in Brazil’s north-west.

The 27-year-old directed local officials using WhatsApp while she lived a life of luxury in Sao Luiz, the state capital of Maranhão, around 180 miles away.

She eventually gave herself up after 39 days on the run.

Following a two-and-a-half year legal battle, Leite was sentenced to 14 years and one month in prison, followed by six years of house arrest after she was found guilty of taking R$20m (£4.5m) from an education fund.

She is still able to appeal the decision, the TNH1 news channel reported.

The saga began in 2012 after her former boyfriend, Humberto Dantas dos Santos, who was also known as Beto Rocha, was banned from serving as mayor of the town in 2012 due to corruption allegations.

Shortly afterwards, Leite ran in his place and appointed the 44-year-old as her chief advisor. He was responsible for most of the town’s day-to-day management.

Meanwhile, Leite lived a lifestyle full of expensive champagne and fast cars in Sao Luiz as she communicated with her deputies via a special ‘Task Force’ WhatsApp group.

At the start of 2015 the couple broke up and Dos Santos resigned. This is when the corruption scheme started to unravel

Bom Jardim is a poor town of around 40,000 people in one of the country’s’ poorest states.