Carlos Nuzman, the head of last year’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics, has been charged by Brazilian federal prosecutors with corruption, money laundering, tax evasion and running a criminal organization. Brazilian prosecutors announced the formal charges on Wednesday. The 75-year-old Nuzman was arrested two weeks ago and is being held in prison.
Prosecutors also filed corruption charges against Nuzman’s right-hand man at the Rio Olympic organizing committee, Leonardo Gryner.
In the filing, prosecutors said the two “promoted, formed, financed, and integrated a criminal organization aimed at committing the crimes of corruption and embezzlement in detriment of the State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s Olympic Committee and the organizing committee of the Rio 2016 Olympics.”
Brazilian and French authorities say Nuzman helped pay $2 million to Papa Massata Diack to win votes to stage the 2016 Olympics.
In the vote in 2009 to pick the host city, Lamine Diack, Papa Massata’s father, was a powerful IOC member from Senegal with sway over the African voting bloc.
Papa Massata Diack, Lamine Diack, former Rio governor Sergio Cabral, and businessman Arthur Cesar de Menezes Soares Filho were also charged in the filing.
Nuzman resigned last week as the president of the Brazilian Olympic Committee. He has denied any wrongdoing and wrote in his resignation letter that he was “unjustly implicated.”
The filing says Nuzman has undeclared assets in Switzerland, including 16, 1-kilo gold bars.
“While Olympic medalists chased their dreams of gold medals, leaders of the Brazilian Olympic Committee stashed their gold in Switzerland,” prosecutor Fabiana Schenider said when Nuzman was arrested.
The day after the Olympics ended, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach presented Nuzman, and former Mayor Eduardo Paes, gold “Olympic Orders” for their role in running the Rio Olympics.
“These were marvelous Olympic Games,” Bach said. “The Olympic Games Rio 2016 have shown the best of the Cariocas (Rio residents) and Brazilians to the world.”
Prosecutors wrote in court documents that “There is robust evidence that Carlos Nuzman, as head of Brazil’s Olympic Committee and Rio 2016 organizing committee, had an increase in his total assets that is incompatible with his declared assets. On the other side, there are elements that suggest there was embezzlement of taxpayer money that was destined to the referred Olympic entities.”