The Brazilian collector and mining magnate Bernardo Paz has been cleared of money laundering charges, according to a ruling passed down by a federal appeals court in Brasília. In 2017, Paz was sentenced to jail for nine years and three months for money laundering related to Instituto Inhotim, the museum and sculpture park Paz founded in 2006. Paz’s sister, Virgínia de Mello Paz, who was originally sentenced to five years, was also acquitted in the new ruling.
Paz’s 2017 conviction came as a result of a criminal complaint by Brazil’s federal prosecutors, the Ministério Público Federal. The complaint alleged that between 2007 and 2008, Paz used $98.5 million in funds deposited to a company called Horizonte, which was set up to benefit the nonprofit Instituto Inhotim, to pay expenses and debts related to Paz’s mining business, rather than support the museum.