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Wesley Batista
Wesley Batista | Photo by Benjamin Ruiz
on February 21, 2018

Former JBS CEO Wesley Batista released from jail

Joesley Batista, his brother and former JBS chairman, will remain incarcerated

Wesley Batista, the former CEO of JBS, was released from jail on February 21 after having been incarcerated in Brazil since September 2017.

The Superior Justice Court ruled by a 3-2 vote to release Batista, who had been jailed on insider trading charges. However, he has been ordered to not leave Brazil. The court has also ruled that he cannot be involved in the running of JBS or other companies operated by the Batista family, according to a report from Bloomberg.

Batista, and his brother Joesley, the former chairman of JBS, had been in custody on suspicion of insider trading. They allegedly used insider information to avoid losses related to a plea bargain signed earlier in 2017 related to a corruption scandal in which the brothers admitted to bribing Brazilian politicians.

Neither of the two brothers are presently in leadership positions with the Brazil-based meat and poultry company. Joesley stepped down from the chairmanship in May 2017 in connection with the bribery scandal, and he was succeeded by Tarek Farahat. Farahat served in that capacity until October 2017, when the JBS board named Jeremiah O’Callaghan as its new chairman.

O’Callaghan had spent the previous 10 years as the investor relations officer of JBS.

Wesley remained CEO of JBS until his September arrest. Following the arrest, Wesley and Joesley’s father, José Batista Sobrinho, also the founder and namesake of the company, was chosen to take over as CEO.

Joesley Batista still in jail

The court also called for the release of Joesley Batista in relation to the insider trading charges. However, he will be required to remain incarcerated under a separate order in which he has been accused of concealing information during previous negotiations regarding a plea bargain.

He had turned himself in to Brazilian authorities several days prior to the arrest of his brother.

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