JBS Ex-Chair Joesley Batista Charged With Corruption

JBS SA shareholder and former Chair Joseley Batista was charged with corruption along with two others. ( )

Federal prosecutors in Brazil on Monday charged JBS SA former Chairman Joesley Batista, and two others with corruption.

The charges were filed against Batista, Francisco Assis a former JBS executive, and Marcello Miller, a former federal prosecutor, before a federal court in Brasilia.

Batista and Assis had been exempted from prosecution for confessing to bribery and agreeing to cooperate with authorities in a plea deal signed last year. The Brazilian Supreme Court is deciding whether to annul the plea

Lawyers for Batista and Assis said in a statement their clients were innocent and the charges unfounded.

The charges, which are under seal, accuse Miller of being paid 700,000 reais ($185,415) by Batista to help him and Assis reach plea deals while Miller was still a federal prosecutor.

The testimony of Batista and other JBS executives included allegations that they bribed nearly 2,000 politicians at all levels of government in the past decade - including President Michel Temer.

Temer faced corruption charges, but they were blocked from going to trial by Brazil’s Congress late last year.