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  HOME | Brazil (Click here for more)

Already Behind Bars, Fallen Brazilian Mogul Fined $134 Million

RIO DE JANEIRO – Former tycoon Eike Batista, now serving 30 years in prison for corruption, will have to pay a fine of 536.5 million reais ($134 million) for insider trading, Brazilian stock market regulators said on Monday.

Batista, 62, used privileged information to manipulate the stock price of OGX Petroleo & Gas Participaçoes SA, one of the companies he controlled, the CVM regulatory agency said.

The CVM levied the fine based on evidence that Batista unloaded $49.3 million worth of OGX shares in mid-2013 ahead of the publication of negative news about the firm.

Batista learned on May 24, 2013, that three oilfields for which OGX held concessions were not commercially viable, but kept that information from the public until June 10, using the interval to sell his shares at a profit.

A lawyer for Batista, Darwin Correa, said in comments published Monday by Agencia Brasil news service that his client would appeal the fine.

Batista testified before the CVM that his sale of OGX stock had nothing to do with the information about the oilfields.

He told the agency that he sold OGX shares because he needed cash to make contractually obligated payments to foreign investors.

The CVM’s decision “was manifestly against the documentary evidence and the testimony of the accused,” Correa said in a statement.

In 2010, Batista had a fortune estimated at $30 billion, enough to make him the richest person in Brazil and the eighth-wealthiest in the world, according to Forbes magazine.

With a conglomerate comprising companies in oil, mining, shipbuilding and other sectors, Batista – like Brazil as a nation – suffered greatly from the plunge in global commodity prices, though reckless business ventures played an even larger role in his downfall.

After fleeing the country in 2016, Batista returned to Brazil the following year and surrendered to authorities, offering to insist the sprawling investigation of corruption at state oil company Petrobras.

Despite his cooperation, Batista was sentenced last July to 30 years in prison for bribery and money laundering.

The erstwhile magnate was found guilty of paying $16.5 million in bribes between 2007 and 2014 to former Rio de Janeiro state Gov. Sergio Cabral to secure government contracts.

Cabral is serving a prison sentence of more than 100 years for corruption and money laundering.

 

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