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The names Jose Ferraz and Oscar De Barros have been splashed across Brazilian newspapers since April, when the two Brazilians were charged in connection with a massive drug scheme. But the two were well known to Brazilian authorities well before that. After arriving in the U.S., Ferraz went to work for a British stock broker in Boca Raton named Nigel Ramsay. He later hooked up with De Barros, a former employee of his in Brazil, according to mutual friend James Deegan. De Barros was running Overland Advisory Service out of plush offices in a Brickell Avenue high-rise in Miami. The four are currently awaiting trial in federal court as part of a massive drug investigation. It’s unclear exactly what kind of business they did at Overland, which bills itself as a “consulting company.” The U.S. government apparently had questions about their operation, raiding the offices and seizing all documents, including phone messages and datebooks, during the drug investigation. Ferraz and De Barros apparently also were busy in other lines of work. Nearly two years ago, in the middle of the Brazilian presidential campaign, they were involved in a scheme to sell a dossier allegedly detailing bank accounts in the Cayman Islands holding $368 million in campaign funds diverted by the then — and current — president of Brazil, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, and members of his cabinet. Ferraz and De Barros were trying to sell the dossier for $3 million to Cardoso’s opponents. One minor opponent anted up a $500,000 down payment on the dossier, and the story exploded in the Brazilian newspapers. Federal police launched an investigation. But after the president cried libel, the investigation shifted to the sellers of the dossier. The dossier was ultimately denounced as a fake; but Ferraz recently said he now has the original. Deegan says he was involved in the dossier scheme too. Deegan, who has many close friends among Brazil’s political elite, told the Miami Daily Business Review that Ferraz and De Barros paid him $5,000 to find a buyer for the dossier. He says they gave him a plane ticket to Miami to personally witness him making the calls. Does the dossier actually exist? Deegan says he never saw it, but adds he bumped into Ferraz in New York several months ago and Ferraz said, “Another election’s coming up. I’m going to try to sell the dossier again.” “I told him good luck,” said Deegan. The U.S. attorney’s office won’t say whether it is investigating the dossier. But it has questioned De Barros in connection with another scheme. According to Ferraz’s attorney, Richard Docobo, Deegan and Brazilian newspapers, De Barros was subpoenaed by the government to determine whether he knew anything about a plan to bribe Brazilian authorities to secure a $200 million fiber-optic communications network construction contract with the city of Sao Paulo. In April, the U.S. Department of Justice began investigating Boston-based Fidelity Investments and its Brazilian company, MetroRed, for possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in connection with the bribery allegation.

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