Two former managers of the Estoril Racing Circuit are in court tomorrow, Wednesday 14th March, charged with embezzlement and abuse of power.
Domingos Piedade, the former chairman of the board of directors of Circuito Estoril, the State company that has operated the Estoril Circuit since 2002, and Isabel Brazão, a former administrator, are to be tried in Cascais.
The Autódromo do Estoril, officially known as Autódromo Fernanda Pires da Silva, ultimately is owned by the taxpayer through State holding company Parpública.
It was the home of the Portuguese Grand Prix from 1984 to 1996.
According to the indictment, the two former managers, between 2007 and 2012 used company credit cards for personal expenses and received advance payments that were not authorised by Finanças.
Domingos Piedade presided over the EC board of directors between 2003 and 2012, and Isabel Brazão was an executive officer between 2007 and 2012, the year in which both resigned.
The defendants, in addition to a salary of between €3,528 and €3,885 per month, had company credit cards with limit of €7,500 for company expenses.
The prosecutors maintain that the former managers used their credit cards "for payment of personal expenses" and "withdrawals."
The defendants purchased products and services "for themselves or for their family members."
Among the more than 200 dubious expenses is the payment, for more than three years, of the Domingos Piedade's son's cell phone account, as well as expenses in restaurants, hairdressers, pharmacy, hotels and flights.
Domingos Piedade and Isabel Brazão continued to use credit cards even after the Government in March 2012 banned cards for managers of State-owned companies.
The prosecution claims that Isabel Brazão, in order to prove her travel expenses, altered taxi receipts, in one case receiving €430, when the actual expense was €29.
The prosecution claims that in July 2012, following court-ordered cuts in the public sector, the defendants requested the Ministry of Finance award them a higher salary based on the average salary paid in the past three years at their last jobs.
Two months later, despite the fact that they did not yet have authorisation, both gave orders to the company's accounts department to pay, "as a prepayment of arrears," €8,600 to Domingos Piedade and €6,600 to Isabel Brazão.
The indictment claims that Domingos Piedade misused €37,900 and is being charged for seven crimes of abuse of power.
Isabel Brazão is accused of four crimes of abuse of power, one of falsification of document and another of embezzlement, and already has repaid €34,000 to the company.