November 30, 2018 / 8:51 PM / 6 months ago

UPDATE 1-Brazil's police to probe incoming Economy Minister Guedes

(Adds confirmation of probe, lawyers statement)

SAO PAULO, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Brazil’s federal police opened an investigation into incoming Economy Minister Paulo Guedes for alleged fraud tied to pension funds of state-run firms, lawyers for the future minister said on Friday, confirming an earlier report from Folha de S.Paulo newspaper.

The probe will try to find out if Guedes, a University of Chicago-trained economist credited with nudging President-elect Jair Bolsonaro toward market-friendly policies, mismanaged hundreds of millions of reais that public pension funds put in his investment vehicles starting in 2009.

Guedes lawyers denied any wrongdoing.

“We reaffirm the correctness of all operations in the fund, which we have to say delivered profits to all its investors, including the pension funds,” the lawyers said in a statement.

Guedes defense said it now hopes that in the hands of the federal police the investigation would raise “inconsistencies” they say appeared in an initial report about the case produced by Previc, a federal body overseeing pension funds.

Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira; Editing by Richard Chang

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