Published: Tue, September 12, 2017
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

Ex-CEO Who Linked Brazil's President to Corruption is Arrested

Ex-CEO Who Linked Brazil's President to Corruption is Arrested

JBS owner Joesley Batista and Ricardo Saud, both executives at J&F, were put under temporary arrest due to evidence of noncompliance with clauses of the plea-bargain deal with Brazil's federal prosecutors.

Batista and Saud will be held in custody for five days. Supreme Court Justice Fachin, however, denied the request stating that there was no evidence of wrongdoing that would warrant an arrest.

Justice Fachin also suspended their plea-bargain agreement, which was ratified in May of this year and had granted the pair of executives immunity from prosecution. There has not been a request to arrest Wesley Batista, thus far.

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JBS SA, the world's largest meatpacker and the crown jewel of the Batistas' empire, also signed terms last week to participate in the J&F leniency agreement.

Batista and Saud went to federal police headquarters in Sao Paulo on Sunday afternoon and will be transferred to Brasilia on Monday, their lawyer, Pierpaolo Bottini, said.

But additional evidence later handed to prosecutors included another tape that appeared to show that Batista had been helped by federal prosecutor Marcelo Miller in crafting the plea deal and concealing certain crimes, according to prosecutors. A recording of Brazilian President Michel Temer alleges him endorsing hush payments made to possible witnesses in the probe. The investigation found that meat inspectors were bribed to pass meat through the system that was rotten.

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Following all of the turmoil JBS has been selling off various holdings including packing plants in South America and a feedlot in Canada. On Monday, JBS agreed to sell its British poultry unit Moy Park to USA subsidiary Pilgrim's Pride Corp for $1 billion.

To limit tensions in the U.S., JBS has formed an independent board and is planning to list the U.S. subsidiary on the New York Stock Exchange.

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