JBS SA Former CEO Wesley Batista Released From Jail

Former CEO of JBS SA, Wesley Batista was released from prison Wednesday, on a 3-2 decision by the Superior Justice Court in Brasilia. ( Photo: Andre Coelho/Bloomberg )

Wesley Batista, former head of Brazilian meatpacking giant JBS SA, was released from jail early Wednesday morning after a court victory yesterday.

The Superior Justice Court in Brasilia ordered Batista's release on Tuesday, after a three-to-two vote. He has spent almost six months behind bars, charged with insider trading. He left the jail in Sao Paulo at 3 a.m. local time Wednesday, Bloomberg reports.

In September, Batista and his brother Joesley, former JBS chairman, were charged with insider trading after prosecutors revoked plea-bargain agreements made in May for the brothers’ scheme to bribe politicians.

Joesley also had his release ordered by the court but remains in prison under a separate order for allegedly concealing information during previous negotiations over a plea bargain.

Wesley has been banned from leaving the country and from participating in running his family’s companies or any other market activities. He will also have to wear an ankle monitor.

Since the scandals began, JBS has been divesting assets. JBS USA announced in January plans to sell Five Rivers Cattle Feeding to Pinnacle Asset Management, L.P.

Earlier this week, JBS SA agreed to shut down its foreign exchange desk and will increase the board’s oversight on hedging operations according to Bloomberg.

These measures will prevent Wesley Batista from directly ordering currency-derivative trades, said Pierpaolo Bottini, a lawyer representing the Batista brothers on Tuesday before the court voted the Batista brothers’ injunction. The brothers deny any wrongdoing.


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