UPDATE 2-Law firm finds no Esteves wrongdoing in BTG Pactual probe
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SAO PAULO, April 7 (Reuters) - Grupo BTG Pactual SA said Thursday an independent probe found no sign of illicit practices by former Chief Executive Officer André Esteves, who was arrested in November for allegedly obstructing justice in a sweeping corruption investigation.
According to a final report on the internal probe, elaborated by international law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP and local peer Veirano Advogados, there was no evidence that BTG Pactual or any of its employees participated in graft or other illicit activities.
The billionaire financier, who was jailed on Nov. 25 and released late in December, had to quit his executive posts at the bank he helped found in the light of the arrest and his alleged involvement in "Operation Car Wash," Brazil's biggest ever corruption investigation.
The situation triggered a massive slump in the price of BTG Pactual's shares and bonds, and huge client fund withdrawals.
As a result, São Paulo-based BTG Pactual sold assets, fired staff and dismantled strategic trading positions to protect cash and reinstill confidence among customers and clients.
"There were no documents or statements coming from anyone that we could call a 'smoking gun,' not a single one," said William Burck, a co-chair of Quinn Emanuel's Washington D.C. practice for white collar and government investigations, and who coordinated the internal, independent probe on BTG Pactual.
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