JBS Ex-Chair Joesley Batista Charged With Corruption

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.