Former richest man in Brazil gets 30-year prison sentence in Petrobras corruption scandal

Eike Batista came under scrutiny in an inquiry that revealed widespread corruption by public officials linked to the giant state oil company

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 04 July, 2018, 2:30am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 July, 2018, 4:10am

Eike Batista, once the richest man in Brazil, was sentenced to 30 years in prison on Tuesday for corruption and money laundering stemming from the massive corruption scandal at state oil giant Petrobras.

Batista, 61, was also fined 53 million reis (US$13.6 million) after he was found guilty by a Rio de Janeiro court of paying a US$16.5 million bribe to the ex-governor of Rio, Sergio Cabral, allegedly through the fictitious sale of a gold mine.

Cabral is currently serving a prison sentence of more than 100 years after five convictions for graft.

Batista’s lawyers have already said they will appeal.

He was arrested in January 2017 but released under house arrest three months later.

An emblem of Brazil’s boom years, Batista amassed a fortune with investments in mining and oil that in 2012 put him in seventh place on the Forbes list of the world’s wealthiest people.

But by 2013 a downturn in the commodities market wiped out a fortune that had, at one time, been estimated at US$30 billion.

He later came under scrutiny by investigators in the vast “Car Wash” operation that revealed mass corruption by public officials linked to Petrobras.