A Brazilian dad, Mateus Alves, squandered thousands of pounds raised for his ill son on prostitutes, booze and drugs while living a life of luxury on the run.
Unemployed Alves, 37, is accused of plundering more than £130,000 from a pot of £216,000 raised by family and friends to buy expensive medication which would prolong the life of his 19 months old son João Miguel.
His son has spinal muscular atrophy (AME), a rare degenerative neuromuscular disease.
The funds were earmarked to buy three doses of Spinraza (also known as Nusinersen), the first approved drug to treat the disorder.
Each dose costs up to £81,000 and the little boy needs six rounds of the injection, administered near the spinal cord.
The drug is not available on Brazil’s national health service.
Alves was finally arrested at a five star beachfront hotel in Salvador, north east Brazil, on Monday, July 22, where he had allegedly been hiding out for over a month during his spending spree.
Investigators concluded their inquiry into the case on Thursday, August 1, and revealed there were also indications Alves was planning to open a brothel in the city with a female business partner.
He had allegedly parted with £10,800 to recruit women for the illicit venture.
When cops raided a hotel penthouse suite, they reportedly found a collection of expensive goods, including watches, jewellery, perfume and designer clothes, along with drugs and cash.
Investigators released selfies allegedly filmed by the accused in which he boasted about his lavish lifestyle, showed off a packet of ‘pure full-strength’ weed and gushed over his plush hotel room.
Relaxing in a roof top swimming pool, Alves bragged in another video: “I come from a poor background, but now I don’t have anything to do with that.”
The huge sums raised for his young son during a year of crowdfunding campaigns included online appeals, auctions, donations and a variety of activities.
If found guilty, Alves faces five years in prison.