October, 5 2018 (Reuters)
Federal prosecutors said on Friday they filed charges seeking 3 billion reais ($774 million) in damages over an alleged corruption scheme aimed at securing loans from Brazilian state bank Caixa Economica Federal .
Investigators allege bribes were paid in exchange for sweetheart loans for companies including Brazilian meat processor Marfrig Global Foods SA and conglomerate J&F Investimentos SA, controlling shareholder of the world’s largest meatpacker JBS SA.
JBS shares were down 3.17 percent in afternoon trading and Mafrig fell 1.16 percent on the news.
The investigation is targeting company employees, workers at Caixa and a public retirement fund it helps manage, and politicians including disgraced former lower house speaker Eduardo Cunha – already jailed on corruption convictions – who allegedly took 89.5 million reais in bribes in the scheme.
J&F said that Joesley Batista’s plea-bargain deal, which the Prosecutor General’s office has asked be struck down, remains valid and therefore the executive faces no charge in this case.
Caixa did not immediately respond to a requests for comment.
Marfrig said that its chairman, Marcos Molina dos Santos, had reached an agreement with federal prosecutors in May that he would pay back any eventual damages determined by a court, but that his deal protects the company from legal and financial liability. The company noted that it was not a plea deal and that it does include any admission of guilt.