Police Arrest JBS CEO Wesley Batista
Police this morning arrested JBS S.A. CEO Wesley Batista in São
Paulo for allegedly using insider trading to profit while negotiating a
plea bargain deal with prosecutors in April and May, the police said.
The arrest, ordered
by a federal court, stems from the investigation dubbed “Achilles Tendon”
into the sale of JBS stock by FB Participações, a company
owned by the Batistas. JBS purchased the stock, “manipulating the market
and causing its shareholders to absorb part of the loss due to the fall
in the stock’s value,” the police said in a statement.
The probe is also
investigating purchases of foreign exchange futures contracts between late
April and mid-May, just before news of the bribery scheme involving JBS’
controllers and Brazilian politicians broke. At the time, the dollar reached
its highest appreciation against the Brazilian currency in a single day.
regulator CVM worked with the Federal Police in the investigation, which
has also implicated JBS' former chairman, Joesley Batista, in the potential
crimes. Joesley was arrested over the weekend for allegedly omitting wrongdoings
during his plea bargain testimony to prosecutors in April.
The Batista brothers
may face one to five years of imprisonment, plus fines, if they are proven
guilty, according to the police.
JBS confirmed in
a statement that Wesley Batista was arrested Wednesday morning, without
giving further details.