Brazilian Mate Mateus Henrique Leroy Alves, 37, spent BRL 600,000 ($148,724) worth of donations to support his lavish lifestyle instead of treating his two-year-old son’s rare degenerative disease, according to Alex Cope of British newspaper Mirror. It also included cashing in the donated funds to holidays, drugs, and brothels.
Unfortunately, two-year-old Joao Miguel died after battling type 1 spinal muscular atrophy, a serious degenerative disease. It refers to a group of neuromuscular disorders that lead to the “loss of motor neurons and progressive muscle wasting.” Joao’s plight was shared on an Instagram page with over 17,000 followers. Suspicions surrounding Alves’ spending started after the man allegedly forked in cash for a luxury trip from Conselheiro Lafaiete, his hometown, to Salvador, a city located in the eastern Brazilian state of Bahia, without his wife.
|Photo Credit: CEN/@amejoaomiguelcl (via Mirror)|
After Alves gave his partner Karine Rodriguez information, the latter raised the alarm and became suspicious of her husband’s actions. The police instructed her to check the funds raised for Joao. Rodriguez allegedly found that large amounts of money were withdrawn from their son’s fund. Alves was arrested three days after he embarked on his luxurious holiday.
The 37-year-old was suspected of spending his son’s donation funds on designer clothing, watches, drinks, drugs, and expensive aftershave. Alves was also suspected of allegedly “investing” BRL 50,000 ($12,393) in a brothel in Conselheiro Lafaiete. However, it is unclear whether the money came from the donation fund.
|Photo Credit: CEN/Globo (via Mirror)|
Investigator Daniel Gomes explained that the man had been charged with larceny and material neglect of his family. Gomes said, “He remains in detention. There has already been a hearing… the sentence is scheduled to be released next month.”
Joao’s donation fund amassed BRL 1,000,000 ($247,868). The money was supposed to be used for his medication called Spinraza to stop his disease from escalating. Each dose of Spinraza costs BRL 341,0000 ($65,420). Joao received his first dose of medication in August after the Brazilian government agreed to shoulder the first three rounds of his treatment amid the allegations against his father.