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Brazil meatpacker agrees to pay $3.2 billion to settle graft probe

The parent company of Brazil meatpacking giant JBS SA will pay a fine of about $3.2 billion spread over 25 years for bribing 1,900 local politicians.

Brazil prosecutors announced the leniency agreement Wednesday with J&F Investimentos.

"The payments will be made exclusively by the holding company and should start in December 2017," prosecutors said.

J&F has 25 years to make the payments.

Witnesses testifying for the prosecution said the company bribed about 1,900 politicians in recent years.

An owner of J&F, Joesley Batista, resigned from the JBS board last week. He had been serving as chairman.

His brother Wesley resigned as vice chairman but stayed on the board and is still serving as CEO.

Prosecutors said J&F landed investments and loans from pension funds and state-run banks in return for bribes.

JBS SA is traded on the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange, in the Novo Mercado segment, under the symbol JBSS3.

JBS USA Holdings, Inc. owns 78.5 percent of Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation, one of the largest chicken-producing companies in the world. Pilgrim's Pride is listed on NASDAQ under the symbol PPC.


Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog.