October 15, 2020


JBS parent company pleads guilty to US foreign bribery charges


The parent company of world's biggest meatpacker JBS SA, Brazil's J&F Investimentos, pleaded guilty to United States foreign bribery charges and will pay criminal fines of US$128.25 million, Reuters reported.


A US charging document said between 2005 to 2017, J&F Investimentos bribed officials to secure financing and "equity transactions" from BNDES and Caixa Economica Federal, Brazil state owned banks, as well as Petroleo Brasileiro SA's employees pension fund Petros.


The bribes exceeded US$150 million paid to high-level government officials, generating US$178 million in profit for J&F Investimentos.


Pilgrim's Pride, a major US chicken producer and owned by JBS SA, was not named in the agreement but the timeline coincides with JBS's purchase of Pilgrim's Pride. Pilgrim's Pride is set to pay a fine of US$110.5 million in unrelated plea deal with the US Justice Department over chicken price-fixing charges.


JBS shares increased more than 9% in after the agreement with the US was announced. Investors hope the agreement will allow the company to move past this sprawling corruption scandal.


J&F Investimentos also settled on a US$27 million fine to the US Securities and Exchange Commission to settle charges connected to the bribery scheme.


-      Reuters