- `No basis' to conclude allegations against BTG are credible
- Prosecutors accused billionaire of interfering with testimony
Grupo BTG Pactual, the Brazil investment bank whose billionaire founder Andre Esteves was arrested in November in a corruption scandal, said a four-month review found no evidence to support the allegations.
A special committee of directors and outside counsel “found no basis to conclude that the allegations of misconduct and corruption against Esteves, BTG Pactual or its personnel that were the subject of the investigation are credible, accurate or otherwise supported by reliable evidence,” the Sao Paulo-based firm said Thursday in a regulatory filing.
Prosecutors have accused Esteves, 47, of trying to interfere with the testimony of a former executive of Petroleo Brasileiro SA who was jailed in January as part of a widening bribery probe at the state-controlled oil producer. Esteves, who has denied wrongdoing, has been under house arrest since his release from prison in December.
The committee, which comprised independent directors Mark Maletz and Claudio Galeazzi and non-independent director Huw Jenkins, hired the law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP and Brazil’s Veirano Advogados to lead the investigation.
While the group did find Esteves and other bank personnel communicated with various politicians, including House of Representatives President Eduardo Cunha, no evidence of wrongdoing was found, according to William Burck, a partner at Washington, D.C.- based Quinn Emanuel.
The team, which included 40 lawyers, reviewed 1 million pages of documents, Burck told journalists at BTG’s headquarters in Sao Paulo.
“The bank gave us full, complete access to all information available,” Burck said. “In many ways we had more access than prosecutors.”
While investigators decided not to interview Esteves directly, they did pose questions to his lawyers, which were answered on his behalf.
“We found nothing that would indicate illicit behavior,” Burck said.