Police Arrests JBS Owner Wesley Batista Amid Insider Trading Probe

Brazil's President Temer reacts during a meeting with trade unionists in Brasilia

In June, the Federal Police in Brazil launched a raid on the offices of JBS SA and FB ParticipaƧƵes SA as part of an investigation into insider trading that was coordinated with the Securities and Exchange Commission (CVM) in Brazil.

In a statement, JBS and lawyers for the Batistas described the arrests as "unjust, absurd and regrettable", saying the brothers had made themselves available to law enforcement, given testimony and presented all the documents requested.

The brothers agreed earlier this year to pay a fine of $3.2 billionafter it was discovered that JBS had doled out about $150 million in bribes to 2,000 politicians over a decade.

The corruption scandal was just the latest to scar Brazilian business and politics.

According to BBC.com, investigators allege that Wesley and his brother Joesley sold a large number of shares in their company in the weeks before they revealed information about how they bribed high-ranking officials, fully knowing that the revelations would cause their company's shares to tumble.

Police investigators said the Batistas were aware of the market impact that their plea deals would have on the company's stock and the currency.

The most explosive material Joesley Batista produced was a secret recording he had made of President Michel Temer in which the president apparently admitted paying hush money to an influential politician.

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Reuters reports that local media called yesterday "Super Wednesday" as, on top of Wesley Batista's arrest, the Brazilian supreme court green-lit an ongoing corruption case against Temer; former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was questioned by an anti-corruption prosecutor; and former Rio de Janeiro state governor Anthony Gartoinho was "arrested in a separate corruption probe in the midst of hosting a radio show".

But a majority of lawmakers in the lower house of Congress voted in August against a proposal to suspend him and allow him to be tried by the Supreme Court for corruption. If convicted, the Batistas may be the first people in Brazil jailed for insider trading. The fall was so drastic, share trading on the Brazilian stock market was briefly suspended.

Wesley Batista was arrested for alleged insider trading.

In his decision, Justice Edson Fachin said there was sufficient indication that Batista and Saud had withheld information from prosecutors when formalizing their plea bargains.

His younger brother Joesley is also facing charges of insider trading.

The tycoon, who turned himself into authorities on Sunday, arrived in Brasilia from Sao Paulo under heavy guard, wearing a white shirt and jeans.

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