SÃO PAULO – The Federal Public Prosecution Service (MPF) in Brazil is seeking more than $5.1 billion in fines and damages from JBS S.A., JBS parent company J&F Investimentos and 14 individuals for their alleged role in a scheme to defraud the National Economic and Social Development Bank (BNDES) and its subsidiary, BNDESpar.

The MPF filed a civil lawsuit alleging JBS and J&F Investimentos, brothers Joesley and Wesley Batista, Guido Mantega, Antonio Palocci, Victor Sandri, Luciano Coutinho and other officials at the BNDES engaged in misconduct as the companies sought to expand further into global markets through strategic acquisitions. Prosecutors allege that, using bribes, the individuals named in the lawsuit secured financing, approval for investments without proper analysis and unsecured loans among other enrichments.

“JBS S.A., through its owners and through the use of intermediaries, paid large bribes to high-ranking officials of the federal government to co-opt the BNDES president and part of his staff so that, through fraudulent management and financial malpractice crimes, JBS would gain access to larger-than-necessary investments and overstatements of the company’s stock price, in addition to an undue waiver of interest charges,” said Ivan Marx, the prosecutor in this case.

The MPF is seeking the return of 144,206,155 shares, damages, plus a fine for a total of more than R21 billion ($5.1 billion).