BRASILIA, Aug 15 (Reuters) - A Brazilian federal prosecutor believes top executives of J&F Investimentos did not confess all their crimes in plea-bargain testimony and plans to bring corruption charges against them, the Estado de S. Paulo newspaper reported on Tuesday.
Prosecutor Ivan Marx told the newspaper the plea deal by the executives who control JBS SA, the world’s largest meatpacker, omitted fraudulent and “reckless” deals for massive loans they acquired from Brazil’s state development bank, BNDES.
In an emailed statement, J&F said its executives have told the entire truth and were ready to assist investigators seeking any additional information.
The executives had earlier obtained immunity from prosecution by providing testimony and documents to prosecutors about bribes paid to nearly 1,900 politicians in recent years as part of the largest political graft scandal yet uncovered in Latin America’s biggest economy.
A source with direct knowledge of Marx’s investigation, who was not authorized to speak to the media and requested anonymity, confirmed to Reuters that he was planning to bring charges against members of the Batista family who control J&F.
Charges were also expected against other executives and past and current authorities working in the state development bank, the source said.
Marx told Estado his investigation had uncovered evidence that fraud resulted in at least 1 billion reais ($315.14 million) in losses for BNDES. He did not provide details to the paper on exactly how the alleged fraud was carried out.
It was testimony from J&F executives that led to a corruption charge against President Michel Temer, who prosecutors accused of arranging to take millions of dollars in bribes from the company.
Earlier this month, the lower house of Congress spared Temer from possibly facing a Supreme Court trial on the corruption charge. Under Brazil’s constitution, two-thirds of the lower house must vote to allow a sitting president to face trial by the high court.
Brazil’s top federal prosecutor, Rodrigo Janot, has said he will soon file one or two separate corruption charges against Temer, however.
Unparalleled levels of corruption in Brazil have been uncovered during three years of investigations into political graft. Five former presidents are under investigation, along with dozens of members of Congress. Over 100 people, mostly powerful businessmen and politicians, have already been convicted.
$1 = 3.1732 reais Reporting by Ricardo Brito; Editing by Tom Brown