Aloysio Nunes, who was named Brazilian foreign minister Thursday, has become the latest member of senate-imposed President Michel Temer's cabinet to be implicated in corruption after the former head of Odebrecht accused him of received hundreds of thousands of dollar in bribes.
Carlos Armando Paschoal, ex-director of the Odebrecht, said that Nunes had received up to US$500,000 from the construction company when he was elected senator.
The transfer, Paschoal had told prosecutors, took place in 2010 when Nunes won the senate elections in Sao Paulo receiving more than 11 million votes, about 30 percent of the total vote.
Revealing details about the scandal, Paschoal said Nunes had asked for funds from the giant construction firm and then received bribes at hotels in Sao Paulo.
Jose Serra, the former foreign minister Nunes is replacing, was also implicated in the scandal, allegedly receiving up to US$23 million in Swiss bank accounts according to Paschoal.
Brazil: Crisis and Societal Fascism
The money received by Serra was used to finance his presidential campaign in 2010, when he lost to Dilma Rousseff, who was impeached last year in what many considered a parliamentary coup.
Serra resigned from his late last month citing health reasons.
According to the report by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, Aloysio Nunes collected US$9.2 million in that election, but Odebrecht did not appear among the donors.
Some have argued that the impeachment of leftist Rousseff, invoking corruption but basing the move on an obscure budgetary procedure, was in fact orchestrated by many of the right-wing politicians and members of the Brazilian Congress in order to escape prosecution for their own serious and proven corruption allegations.
Wiretaps leaked after her impeachment last August revealed that they actively sought to avoid prosecution through the parliamentary coup.