Judge orders JBS execs to step away from corporate roles

Can’t imagine what a wreck this could be for the livestock industry …

Judge orders JBS execs to step away from corporate roles

By Anna Flávia Rochas on 9/6/2016

JBS’s CEO Wesley Batista and chairman Joesley Batista were ordered by a Brazilian judge to step away from executive positions in their companies, according to a report from Reuters.

Federal Judge Vallisney De Souza Oliveira also ordered 38 executives from a number of companies to forfeit their passports, request prior authorization before traveling domestically and refrain from any activity in capital markets, Reuters reported Monday evening.

The order is part of the Federal Police’s probe, called “Operation Greenfield”, an investigation into pension fund investments in Brazilian companies, including Eldorado Brasil, a pulp producer owned by J&F Investimentos, which also controls JBS. On Monday, Weseley Batista was questioned by the Federal Police as part of the investigations.

JBS said in a statement on Tuesday morning that it became aware of parts of the judge decision, which would determine the Batistas must leave their positions, through the press.

“The company didn’t have formal access to the full content of the judge’s decision and its extension,” according to a JBS statement. “JBS legal advisors are acting to get complete access to the proceeding and the mentioned decision as well as its repercussion to the company.”

JBS said it would give further explanations once it has access to the full decision.

“JBS has nothing to do with this operation,” a spokesperson at J&F told Meatingplace on Monday. Batista is also a member of the executive board at Eldorado Brasil.

The group said its executives are collaborating with investigators and are “available to provide all necessary clarification” to the authorities.

In July, Brazilian Federal Police searched the offices of Eldorado Brasil and the house of Joesley Batista, J&F’s president and JBS’ chairman, as part of the “Operation Carwash” probe investigating a large corruption and money laundering scheme involving politicians and businessmen across the country.