Luccas Pace Jr.: Nelma Kodama’s Assistant Now Keeps a Low Profile

With Netflix’s ‘Nelma Kodama: The Queen of Dirty Money’ living up to its title in every way conceivable, we get a documentary exploring every aspect of this notorious titular dollar dealer’s life. That’s because it incorporates not just archival footage but also exclusive interviews to really underscore her taste for extravagance plus her criminal career despite being a trained dentist. Amongst those to thus feature in this original was actually her personal assistant, Luccas Pace Jr., whose aid truly enabled her to expand thanks to his own experiences in the finance market.

Luccas Pace Jr. is a Financial Sector Expert Through and Through

Reportedly born on June 16, 1958, in São Paulo, Brazil, into a loving, stable household, Luccas was merely a young child when he first developed a keen interest in the world of banks and money. It hence comes as no surprise he eventually chose to establish a career in the same, just to then rise through the ranks until he’d managed to build a good name for himself in the entire market. In fact, by the time the mid-1980s rolled around, he was deemed responsible for helping with the implementation of Citibank all across Brazil. He then also tried to implement the Foreign Exchange Operations desk at Bank Of America, but it didn’t pan out.

Luccas further gained notoriety when he took on the role of CEO of the largest foreign exchange and financial assets brokerage in Latin America, Action Câmbio (now otação DTVM SA), and also evolved into the owner of a stock brokerage. However, everything turned upside down for him between 2000 and 2001 as he admittedly “went through some severe trouble… “It was a problem with my associates. I lost my business, it lost my companies. I started working much more in the informal market, which was all I had left.”

That’s when Luccas came in touch with Nelma Mitsue Penasso Kodama through a mutual friend, who he already knew was a well-established dollar dealer. “She asked to talk to me,” he conceded in the film. “And I started going to [her base at] Santa Andre. I was going one day, two, and three, and when I realized it, I was going every day.” According to his accounts, Nelma operated in the old-school markets because it was much more straightforward, that is, until he began closing massive exchange deals and brought on the structure.

That’s when things began to grow, and Nelma and Luccas moved their work to Sao Paulo, only to evolve into the contemporary markets without even once letting their workday crash. He hence played a crucial role at every step of the way and was also well aware of almost all her personal connections, considering they worked side by side for nearly a decade and a half. They actually seemingly did so right until their arrest in 2014 for 91 crimes of currency evasion, operating an irregular financial institution, and crimes related to a criminal organization.

Where is Luccas Pace Jr. Now?

Although Luccas was initially sentenced to 18 years behind bars for his offenses related to the state oil company Petrobras’ corruption case brought to light by Operation Car Wash, he cooperated with the authorities in exchange for a lower term. Under his plea agreement, his final sentence was four years, two months, and fifteen days, only for that to be pardoned by then-president Michel Temer in 2017, meaning he did not spend more even three years behind bars. According to his official testimonies, he felt “relief” when he was arrested since he knew it would help him step out of the world of crimes easily, something he’d apparently already been thinking of for a while.

Luccas had apparently also denounced several stockbrokers and banking institutions that participated in the scheme so as to get in the good graces of the government, only to have since asserted he was coerced into making his statements. In fact, he apparently considers his arrest, as well as the entire ensuing legal process, an act of torture, especially as he claims to have been coerced into constantly redoing his plea deal by judges and magistrates. Coming to his current standing, from what we can tell, this 65-year-old leads a quiet life well away from the spotlight these days, all in the hopes of moving on from the past. Though we do know this family man is based in the municipality of Praia Grande in São Paulo, where loved ones surround him every step of the way.

Read More: Nelma Kodama: Where is the Dollar Dealer Now?