The electronics chain Ricardo Eletro closed the store in Rocinha this week. Those who pass by the store find posters informing about stock burns and employees dismantling the shelves and collecting the products. When contacted, Ricardo Eletro’s press office could not be located to comment on the matter.

Two reasons could be behind the closing of the store. The arrest of founder Ricardo Nunes for tax evasion and the request for judicial recovery made by the retail chain, in São Paulo.

The arrest and release of the founder

The founder of the retail giant, Ricardo Nunes, was arrested on the morning of July 8, in São Paulo, during an operation to  combat tax evasion  and money laundering in Minas Gerais. The businessman’s daughter and her brother Rodrigo Nunes were also arrested.

Businessman Ricardo Nunes also appeared in some commercials for the chain of stores. Photo: Publicity/Ricardo Eletro

Ricardo Nunes was released the following day after giving testimony to the Public Ministry of Minas Gerais. “After the Supreme Court understood that there could no longer be coercive conduct, unfortunately these situations have occurred. The investigated person is arrested only to give a statement, when he could have been subpoenaed,” said lawyer Marcelo Leonardo, who works for the businessman, to the newspaper  Extra .

The task force, made up of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the State Revenue Service and the Civil Police of Minas Gerais, named the operation Direct with the owner. Preliminary investigations showed that around R$400 million in taxes had not been paid in five years.

Request for judicial recovery

Also in July, the businessman will file an injunction preparatory to Judicial Recovery at the 1st Bankruptcy and Judicial Reorganization Court, at the Central Civil Forum of São Paulo. Pressured by creditors and the significant drop in revenues during the pandemic, the company resorts to Justice to shield its assets and renegotiate debts. From the moment the precautionary action is accepted, the retailer will have 30 consecutive days to file the main request for judicial recovery.

A Máquina de Vendas, holding da qual pertencem a Ricardo Eletro e outras quatro grandes varejistas regionais, tem 74 lojas com pedidos de despejo e aproximadamente 100 milhões de reais em ordens de bloqueio de ativos da rede. A companhia está entre os 500 maiores devedores da Previdência Social, por falta de recolhimento de obrigações previdenciárias para o INSS. Ao todo, a Ricardo Eletro deve mais de 75 milhões de reais à União.

Relembre a chegada da loja na Rocinha

The Ricardo Eletro store in Rocinha was inaugurated in October 2011, during the process of installing a Pacifying Police Unit . It was the first store of a retail chain to be installed on the hill. The unit has 680 m² of built area, on three floors, and offered the chain’s entire line of products, such as home appliances, electronics and furniture. Investment in construction and installation exceeded R$ 1 million. Before Ricardo Eletro, the Mandinha furniture store operated in the same location.

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