I find it hard to believe, but apparently so:
Two former executives of Sadia SA, the foodmaker that BRF Brasil Foods SA bought to form the world’s biggest poultry exporter, were sentenced and fined in the country’s first insider trading court ruling.
Former Chief Financial Officer Luiz Gonzaga Murat Jr. was sentenced to 21 months in prison and fined 349,712 reais ($210,100), Brazil’s securities regulator said today in an e- mailed statement. Romano Ancelmo Fontana Filho, a former board member, was sentenced to 17 months and fined 374,941 reais. Both can serve community service in lieu of prison.
Murat, who was Sadia’s CFO for 12 years until resigning in 2006, and Fontana were charged with illegally purchasing American depositary receipts of Perdigao SA before Sadia made a hostile bid to buy the rival in 2006. Murat and Fontana settled similar allegations of insider trading with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in 2007.
The student who passed this along to me seemed relatively confident that the ruling would be overturned on appeal. If anyone out there knows something about Brazilian securities law, sufficient to explain how the market there functioned without a rigorous enforcement regime, please drop on by and comment. Otherwise, lots of L&E folks will be made very, very happy.