Former JBS Chairman Joesley Batista has been released from custody following his November 9 arrest in connection to an investigation into a corruption scandal in which executives were accused of bribing Brazilian politicians.
The release of Batista, who remains a JBS shareholder, was ordered by Brazil’s top appeals court on November 12, according to a report from Reuters.
Also arrested and released were Neri Geller, who served as agriculture minister under former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, and Rodrigo Figueiredo, who was secretary for agriculture defense under Geller in 2014.
The investigation dates back to 2014 but came to light in 2017. Later that year, Batista stepped down from his position, as did his brother, Wesley Batista, who was the CEO of JBS. Their father, José Batista Sobrinho, the founder and namesake of the company, succeeded his son as CEO. Jeremiah O'Callaghan is presently the chairman of JBS. Prior to his appointment, O’Callaghan had spent 10 years as the investor relations officer of JBS.
This marks the second time since the scandal broke that Joesley Batista has been arrested. He and Wesley Batista were both arrested in September 2017 on suspicion of using inside information, gained from the plea-bargaining process related to the corruption scandal, to gain profits. They were formally charged the following month.
Wesley was released from custody in February, while Joesley was released in March. Since that time, Joesley has been charged by Brazilian prosecutors, who accused him of him of corruption, money laundering and obstruction of justice.
Then, in September, CVM, the Brazilian securities regulator rejected a settlement offer on behalf of JBS and its shareholders regarding the insider trading case.
JBS, according to the WATTAgNet Top Poultry Companies Database, is the largest poultry producer in the world, having slaughtered 3.5 billion birds in 2017. The company has 112 poultry processing plants. JBS is also heavily involved in beef and pork production.