Former JBS chiefs caught up in Brazilian corruption scandal
May 19, 2017
One of the original founders of Greeley-based JBS USA is caught up in the corruption scandal involving Brazil's president.
Joesley Batista, the former head of JBS SA in Brazil, which is the parent company of Greeley-based JBS USA, revealed he had paid millions to President Michel Temer and his predecessors, Dilma Rousseff and Luiz Ina cio Lula da Silva, according to the Wall Street Journal. Temer is under investigation for corruption and obstruction of justice, but he has refused to step down.
Joesley and his brother, Wesley Batista, both struck plea bargains with Brazilian prosecutors in the scandal, according to the New York Times. Joesley Batista apparently secretly recorded Temer discussing hush money Batista was to pay to solve problems Batista had at a power plant his company owned, the Times reported.
Wesley Batista led JBS USA for four years before his brother appointed him in 2011 to head the South American operations. The Greeley operations have been run by Andre Nogueira since 2013, after he served six years as the company's CFO.
There are no accusations of wrongdoing at the Greeley JBS operations.
The Wall Street Journal reported Joesley Batista told officials that Temer had asked him on multiple occasions for amounts totaling at least $2.2 million. He said he deposited $80 million between Rousseff and da Sivla's in offshore accounts.
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Cameron Bruett, spokesman for JBS USA, said he could not comment about the issue.
JBS USA is Greeley's largest employer with 4,000 local workers, including about 970 at the headquarters at Promontory. JBS S.A. is the world's largest meat producer with 140 production facilities worldwide, while JBS USA ranks third in the nation in beef production.