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Woman arrested after wheeling a CORPSE into a bank to “sign off” on a loan

  A Brazilian woman was taken into custody on April 16 after she allegedly  brought a dead man to a bank to sign off on a loan . Citing the ...

 A Brazilian woman was taken into custody on April 16 after she allegedly brought a dead man to a bank to sign off on a loan.

Citing the Brazilian O Globo newspaper, the Straits Times (ST) reported that law enforcement arrested Erika de Souza Vieira Nunes after allegedly taking the body of Paulo Roberto Braga in a wheelchair. The suspect reportedly brought the corpse of the 68-year-old Braga to a bank branch in the Bangu neighborhood of Rio De Janeiro to sign off on a 17,000 Brazilian reais ($3,248.70) loan.

A bank employee sensed something was wrong as Nunes was attempting to complete the transaction and filmed the scenario, with the footage later making the rounds on social media after the suspect's arrest. She claimed to be the would-be borrower's niece and caretaker.

In the video, Nunes can be heard speaking to Braga, whose eyes seem to be closed and complexion pale. She reportedly held the man's head upright at times.

"Uncle, are you listening? You have to sign it. I can't sign for you," she said as she put a pen between his fingers. "Sign here and stop giving me a headache.

"I don't think this is legal," said the concerned bank employee. "He doesn't look well. He's very pale."

Nunes responded: "He doesn't say anything, that's just how he is. If you're not OK, I'm going to take you to the hospital.

The video showed the dead man's head swinging back and forth before the woman grabbed hold of his neck with her left hand from behind. At this point, the strange scene raised alarm among bank employees who promptly called for an ambulance and the police. 

The paramedics who were called to the scene said Braga had passed away a couple of hours earlier. Law enforcement also arrested Nunes on the spot. She now faces charges such as fraud, embezzlement and abuse of a corpse, the Independent reported.  

Investigation on Nunes' scheme ongoing

Fabio Luiz, chief of the Civil Police of Rio de Janeiro (PCRJ), attested to the paramedics' findings of Braga's demise prior to the incident. The results of a postmortem to establish the cause of Braga's death was not announced publicly.

Authorities stated they are checking closed-circuit television cameras inside and outside the bank to determine if the woman acted alone or with other accomplices amidst suspicion they could be dealing with organized fraud.

"The investigation is continuing to identify other family members and to find out if he was alive when the loan was arranged and when it dates from," Luiz told major Brazilian broadcaster TV Globo in an interview.

"She tried to pretend to get him to sign the loan. He already entered the bank dead. The main thing is to continue the investigation to identify other family members and find out more about this loan."

Accordng to the PCRJ, an investigation proceeds into the nature of Braga's death, whether or not Nunes is really his niece or caretaker, and whether anyone else related to either of them could be attempting to commit bank fraud.

"The elderly man's body will be examined at the Legal Medical Institute (IML), in order to determine the circumstances of his death. Agents [will] carry out investigations to clarify the facts and witnesses will be heard," a police spokesperson announced.

This was not the first time a dead person was utilized to embezzle money. ST reported that back in March, two women in Ohio faced charges after they allegedly brought a dead man to a bank to withdraw $900 from his account.

After withdrawing the money, the women ditched the body at an emergency room at Ashtabula County Medical Center without identifying the dead man or themselves. Law enforcement later arrested the women, who were charged with theft and gross abuse of a body.

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