A young Brazilian mayor has been accused of running her small impoverished town remotely via WhatsApp after she embezzled money from her community’s education funds to pay for a lavish lifestyle away from the poverty. The 25-year-old former mayor, Lidiane Leite, was implicated along with her boyfriend Beto Rocha who acted as her advisor. The pair were named in connection with federal investigation, which discovered that nearly $1 million of funds had been siphoned off in a corruption scheme. Since the investigation, the pair have fled and are being sought by police.
CNN reports that the beautiful, young woman was elected by the people of Bom Jardim, a small Brazilian town. However, the townspeople were quickly enraged when their 25-year-old mayor, Lidiane Leite, began posting photos of herself sipping champagne, attending parties, and living a lavish lifestyle. Reports indicated that Leite was living a lifestyle that her regular salary as a mayor would not have afforded her.
“She started flaunting a luxurious lifestyle that her salary couldn’t afford. She was traveling, doing plastic surgeries and buying expensive cars.”
In addition to accusations that the former mayor was spending large sums of money while her town suffered, she was also accused of frequently leaving the town for vacations and only speaking to her cabinet members through apps like WhatsApp.
“There were also complaints that she was leaving town every week and sending orders over phone apps like WhatsApp.”
According to the Daily Mail, the mayor was implicated in an investigation into missing education funds. With funds missing, it is reported that the education system in Bom Jardim has collapsed and the teachers are not being paid. Meanwhile, the young mayor was living it up on tropical vacations and spending money that was embezzled from the town.
Following her implication in the scandal, Leite fled the state with her boyfriend and is currently missing. Meanwhile, a state judge has said he will seek an international arrest warrant for the fleeing former mayor if she does not turn herself in. However, just last week, Leite’s lawyer, Carlos Barros, says that his client’s disappearance was not planned, but rather a result of being scared. Barros notes that Leite was “too young and inexperienced” when she took the office of mayor and that she delegated most tasks to her boyfriend, Beto Rocha.
As Leite fled the area, her former deputy took her place and has vowed to the disgruntled community to complete a thorough investigation into the embezzlement.
[Image Credit: Instagram/ Lidiane Leite]