NOBULL: JBS listed among alleged contributors in Brazil bribery investigation

JBS listed among alleged contributors in Brazil bribery investigation

By Bob Moser on 12/16/2013

JBS SA has been listed in a Brazilian news story out this week as one of a dozen or more companies that paid millions of dollars to a Sao Paulo-based businessman between 2006 and 2013, who allegedly funneled that money to public officials and political parties.

In a cover story published on Sunday, Brazilian weekly news magazine Veja investigated businessman Adir Assad, who over the past seven years has allegedly laundered at least BRL1 billion ($431.6 million) through a handful of businesses he owns.

The companies named in the report include some of Brazil’s biggest corporate names in banking, energy, logistics and engineering, and allegedly paid tens of millions of reais, and in some cases hundreds of millions, for Assad to deliver as bribes to public officials, or as unregistered contributions to political parties.

In the story, Assad’s businesses are shown to all be relatively small and located in the outskirts of Sao Paulo, with no employees or equipment inside, and properties registered in the names of Assad’s associates. Brazil’s Federal Police is investigating the case.

JBS-Friboi is listed among the companies involved, allegedly having paid at least BRL1 million ($431,620) to Assad.

As of Monday morning, the world’s largest beef processor has not been sought by the Federal Police or any other Brazilian agency regarding Assad, JBS spokesman Alexandre Inácio Machado told Meatingplace.

When contacted by Veja for the story, JBS, per its policy, declined to fully or partially disclose its list of suppliers, or their contract values, Machado said.

“The company policy establishes guidelines to avoid conflicts of interest, and to seek qualified service providers in the market,” he added. “Despite having informed them of this, the magazine story ignored our position.”