Brazilian tycoon Batista investigated for financial crimes: reports
Send a link to a friend
[April 21, 2014]
RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) — Brazil´s
federal police have opened an investigation into former billionaire
Eike Batista for financial crimes, including insider trading,
manipulation of markets and money laundering, Brazilian media
reported on Friday.
If the police probe leads to criminal charges against Batista, it
would be yet another major blow for a businessman once hailed as
Brazil's model entrepreneur and symbol of its economic success.
Batista´s EBX oil, mining and logistics empire, which two years ago
was valued at $60 billion, collapsed last year in a mountain of debt
and massive filings for bankruptcy protection.
A week ago, Brazil's securities commission, CVM, announced that
Batista was under investigation for insider trading as chairman of
his now-bankrupt oil-producing company Óleo and Gás Participações SA
<OGXP3.SA>, formerly known as OGX, and its sister company,
shipbuilder OSX Brasil SA <OSXB3.SA>.
Batista is now being investigated by the police at the request of
federal prosecutors in Rio de Janeiro for financial crimes involving
the allegedly illegal sales of shares before his conglomerate fell
apart, O Globo newspaper reported.
The police probe will focus on the sale of shares last year in oil
producer OGX before the company informed the market that much of its
reserves were not commercially viable, Folha de S. Paulo newspaper
The Federal Police would not comment.
A spokeswoman for Batista said his EBX group had not been officially
notified by federal prosecutors or police and would provide the
authorities with explanations in due course.
[to top of second column]
"Everything will be cleared up and Eike Batista's good faith will be
proven," his lawyer Darwin Corrêa said.
Batista, Brazil's richest man for most of the past decade, could
face up to 23 years in prison if convicted.
Securities watchdog CVM wants to determine whether Batista withheld
information that was unfavorable to some of his businesses while
encouraging investors to buy more stock in his companies at a time
when he sold shares of OGX and OSX.
Among other probes, the regulator will look into whether Batista
used his Twitter account to manipulate OGX share prices while hiding
the company's problems.
(Reporting by Anthony Boadle; editing by Leslie Adler)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.