SÃO PAULO, Brazil – The Federal Prosecution Service (MPF) of Brazil recently asked a court to freeze assets belonging to Joesley Batista, chairman of JBS SA, and the CEO of a pulp production company controlled by the Batista family’s holding company, J&F Investimentos.
Batista and Jose Carlos Grubisich Filho, CEO of Eldorado Brasil Celulose SA are under investigation as part of a federal corruption probe into fraud at state-run company pension funds. Prosecutors allege Batista and Grubisich breached an agreement related to the investigation. Prosecutors asked the court to freeze assets worth about R$3.8 billion ($1.21 billion).
J&F Investimentos, the Batista family’s holding company that controls both JBS and Eldorado, said in a statement that the company was “surprised” by prosecutors’ request for legal action against Batista and Grubisich. The company called the allegations “unfounded,” adding that all actions taken by Eldorado specifically were legal and in accordance with the company’s bylaws and shareholders’ agreement.