UPDATE 1-Brazil central bank shutters broker-dealer named in probe

jueves 7 de enero de 2016 11:18 GYT

(Adds freezing of other directors' assets, allegations against TOV, background on brokerage)

SAO PAULO Jan 7 (Reuters) - Brazil's central bank said it liquidated TOV CCTVM SA and froze the assets of the main shareholder and managers of the broker-dealer, which was named in a wide corruption investigation and is accused of forging import contracts to send money abroad.

The bank appointed Tupinambá Quirino dos Santos as liquidator of TOV, it said in a statement on Thursday . The assets of controlling TOV shareholder Fernando Heller and another seven directors will remain frozen during the process.

The actions came after TOV was cited in "Operation Car Wash," a probe into graft, money laundering and influence-peddling at state companies that has become Brazil's largest corruption scandal ever.

According to the testimony of illegal money changers who signed a plea bargain in the probe, TOV send money abroad to pay for bogus imports.

The liquidation of TOV follows an investigation begun last year and is the latest in a string of central bank-led shutdowns of brokerages suspected of conducting irregular transactions for some clients.

TOV's spokesmen were not immediately available for comment.

The brokerage lost 8 million reais ($2 million) in the first six months of last year, according to its financial statements.

Brazil's fragmented broker-dealer market is struggling with rising volatility and reduced interest in equities and other financial products in the country. According to central bank data, most broker-dealers lost money last year.

($1 = 4.0435 Brazilian reais) (Reporting by Tatiana Bautzer and Bruno Federowski; Editing by Daniel Flynn)