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Brazilian Court Drops Bribery Charges Against banker Joseph Safra

Prosecutors had claimed Joseph Safra helped in alleged scheme to pay $4.25 million in order to reduce bank’s tax bill


A Brazilian federal court voted Tuesday to dismiss criminal charges against Brazilian Banco Safra owner, billionaire Joseph Safra for allegedly paying more than $4 million in bribes to cut his company’s tax fines, a court spokesman said and added that former bank executive Joao Inacio Puga will continue the investigation in the alleged scheme.


bank-j-safra-sarasin Joseph Safra


In this case, the prosecutors in March had filed the charges against Safra, despite a lack of evidence that he was directly involved in negotiations.  Prosecutors said then that Safra was not directly involved in the negotiations but that wiretapped conversations showed Puga reported to him on the bribery talks. They claimed that he was an intermediary and therefore he knew of a 2014 plan by executives at the bank to pay 15.3 million reals ($4.25 million) in bribes.

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Prosecutor Frederico Paiva said they now have 15 days to appeal the court’s vote, but no decision has been made yet.

AP and Reuters






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