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Brazil's president son charged over alleged corruption scheme

Brazil's Senator Flavio Bolsonaro arrives to a ceremony marking Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro's 400 days in office at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil February 5, 2020. REUTERS/Adriano Machado/Files

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - State prosecutors in Rio de Janeiro said late on Tuesday they have formally pressed charges against Flavio Bolsonaro, President Jair Bolsonaro’s eldest son, over his alleged participation in a scheme to siphon off public funds.

A former aide, Fabricio Queiroz, was also charged along with another 15 people whom prosecutors did not name.

Prosecutors have been investigating an alleged corruption ring in which Flavio Bolsonaro would receive part of the salaries paid to cabinet staff when he was a member of the Rio de Janeiro state legislature, a scheme known as “rachadinha” in Brazil.

Prosecutors say the alleged scam lasted between 2007 and 2018.

In a statement, Flavio Bolsonaro denied any wrongdoing and said the accusations against him are baseless.

“I have not committed any crimes,” he said.

Reporting by Rodrigo Viga Gaier; Writing by Ana Mano; Editing by Steve Orlofsky