Alberto “Beto” Youssef: The Dollar Dealer Now Leads a Quiet Life

It was back in March 2014 when a landmark anti-corruption case in Brazil brought to light the names of several local black-market currency traders, turning their entire world upside down. Amongst them, as carefully chronicled in Netflix’s ‘Nelma Kodama: The Queen of Dirty Money,’ were both the titular Sao Paulo native and her once long-term lover Alberto “Beto” Youssef. Though if we’re being honest, it was the latter’s tale that intrigued us most considering the way he was portrayed as not just a career criminal but also a party animal as well as a womanizer.

Alberto “Beto” Youssef’s Criminality Started at an Early Age

Although born on October 6, 1967, in Londrina to local Brazilian Antoinette Youssef and Lebanese immigrant Kalim Youssef in a loving, modest home, Alberto’s surroundings were different. According to the documentary, he was raised “near Foz do Iguassu… where financial crime is a reality. There’s smuggling and a series of people carrying out illegal activities near the border.” It’s thus believed he comprehended this aspect of the financial system as a mere child, soon resulting in him dipping his toes into criminality too — he started in the 1980s as just a teenager.

Alberto purportedly sold snacks in the streets of Londrina and helped his mother sell food at a shop at the local airport before jumping straight into international smuggling. This then-teen was actually arrested alongside his elder sister, who allegedly helped as he trafficked a myriad of expensive merchandise into Brazil from Paraguay since the latter had lower taxes. Then came his decision to step into money laundering with the help of businessman, con man, plus politician José Janene, only to soon be considered one of the top black-market currency traders/dollar dealers.

As per reports, Alberto was actually arrested in both 2000 and 2001 for allegedly having a hand in the bribery of bank employees, so they returned cashed municipal signed or unsigned checks. He was supposed to face trial yet ultimately ended up serving less than a month behind bars before being released. He was subsequently indicated in an unrelated embezzlement case, too, only to escape any accountability by snitching on the higher-level government officials who had been involved in it. It turns out open cooperation and tattling on those more deeply active in such schemes was his go-to move to avoid prison whenever he landed in trouble.

This much is actually even evidenced in the Banestado scandal, wherein Alberto was indicted in the early 2000s for money laundering from this state bank – the amount was believed to be $830 million. We say this because he agreed to a plea deal in this case in exchange for the minimal sentence possible and testimonies against rival black-market currency changers, which only improved his standing. This was followed by his taking over all of José Janene’s operations once he passed in 2010 and his March 2014 arrest for the Petrobras scandal for criminal conspiracy and money laundering.

Where is Alberto “Beto” Youssef Now?

In the end, Alberto again took a plea deal by cooperating with officials to such an extent he made the case 100 times bigger and stronger, as a result of which his 8-year sentence was reduced to three. Though by this point, he was already in prison for violatoing the rules of his plea agreement in the Banestado case, resulting in his being banned from the financial market and a sentence of four years and four months.

Nevertheless, Alberto did subsequently ask for his term to be served at home owing to health concerns over his heart, yet it didn’t pan out. So, today, per the last reports regarding his sentence, he’s now free, living in Curitiba, and doing his best to move on from the past. As for his personal standing, per records, his long-term wife Joan of Arc Fernandes da Silva Yousse left him upon learning about his having several extramarital affairs/mistresses, including Nelma Kodama from 2000 to 2009.

Read More: Nelma Kodama’s Net Worth: How Rich is the Dollar Dealer?