Massive fraud investigation targets prominent Brazilian health researcher
Guilherme Franco Netto, a prominent public health scientist in Brazil, was sound asleep in his Rio de Janeiro apartment when his daughter woke him early on 6 August. She looked alarmed. Three federal police officers were at the door.
Soon, Franco Netto found himself behind bars, under suspicion of aiding a scheme to defraud the government by manipulating the award of a funding contract for a public health research project.
News of his arrest sparked outrage among his colleagues. They collected thousands of signatures on a petition demanding his release, convinced that his imprisonment was the result of a misunderstanding, an abuse of power, or both. After Franco Netto had spent 3 days in custody, a justice on Brazil’s Supreme Court ordered him released. He now awaits trial on several charges of fraud.