The owner of the world’s largest meatpacker pleaded guilty in U.S. federal court on Wednesday to pay nearly $150 million in bribes to top Brazilian officials in exchange for state-backed financing used to go on a buying spree in the U.S.
Sao Paulo-based J&F Investimentos, the controlling shareholder of JBS SA, pleaded guilty in federal court in Brooklyn to one count of conspiring to violate the foreign corrupt practices act. As part of the settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, it must pay fines of $256 million — half of which will be discounted from hefty penalties it has already paid to Brazilian authorities for the previously disclosed bribe payments.
J&F’s legal counsel, Lucio Martins Batista, told the court that his family’s company gave cash and gifts, including a $1.5 million New York apartment purchased through a shell company, to five Brazilian officials between 2005 and 2017 to secure J&F financing from state-run banks.
The original full article can be found at independent.co.uk
(Photo: The Associated Press)