The Federal Police, the Federal Public Ministry and the Federal Revenue Service of Brazil this week launched a new investigation, called Operation Baixo Augusta, into an alleged tax kickback scheme between the Federal Revenue Service and JBS S.A. that was revealed in a plea bargain signed by JBS executives earlier this year.
Brazilian officials served 14 search and seizure warrants issued by the 10th Federal Criminal Court of São Paulo, Brazil. The warrants were conducted in São Paulo, Caraguatatuba, Campos do Jordão, Cotia, Lins and Santana do Parnaíba. In connection with the probe, a federal auditor was removed from office, and eight individuals and legal entities had their assets blocked.
According to the Federal Police, approximately 160 million reals ($48.78 million) were paid to tax officials over the last 13 years to illegally expedite the release of tax credits to JBS.
There are indications that transactions took place through front companies and the issue of false invoices, Brazil's Federal Police said.