By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Once Brazil’s wealthiest man, businessman Eike Batista was sentenced to thirty years in prison in Rio de Janeiro this week for corruption and money laundering. Batista was found guilty of paying former Rio de Janeiro governor, Sergio Cabral US$16.5 million in 2011 and trying to conceal the bribe through a money laundering operation.
According to the Public Ministry, in order to hide the payment to Cabral, Batista created an offshore account with black market money Renato Chebar to transfer money to the former official. The investigations into Batista were part of the mega Lava Jato (Car Wash) corruption scheme.
The payment to Cabral was in exchange of contracts of Batista’s companies with the Rio state government.
This is not the first time Eike Batista has had run ins with authorities. In 2015, after being accused of crimes against the financial market Brazil’s Federal Police apprehended six vehicles (including a Lamborghini and a Porsche), a Faberge egg, and R$37,000 in foreign currency at Batista’s Rio home.
In June of 2017, after spending three months in jail for corruption, Brazil’s Securities and Exchange Commission (CVM) found Batista guilty of insider trading, and ordered the oil tycoon to pay a fine of R$21 million.
In relation to the most recent bribe investigation, the court also sentenced Rio’s former governor to twenty-two years and eight months for passive corruption, money laundering and evasion of foreign exchange.
Cabral’s wife, Adriana Ancelmo, two of his closest aides, and Batista’s right-hand man were also sentenced to prison sentences varying from four years and six months to twenty-two years.
This was Sergio Cabral‘s sixth conviction.
The former governor currently is serving prison sentences that exceed 120 years for corruption and money laundering.