Eike Batista, a Brazilian oil and mining mogul, was sentenced to 30 years in prison on Tuesday after paying over $16 million in bribes.
Moreover, Federal Judge Marcelo Bretas found Batista guilty of bribing Rio de Janeiro governor Sérgio Cabral to secure contracts with the state. Consequently, Judge Bretas sentenced Cabral to prison-time as well, which pushes his previous 22-year sentence to 120 years– essentially a life sentence.
Judge Bretas had this to say about his ruling,
[He was] a businessman who was known outside, and exactly because of it, his criminal practices had the potential to contaminate the business environment and the reputation of Brazilian businessmen…[The crimes created] deep scars in the trust of investors and entrepreneurs who, until recently, saw Brazil as a good investment option.
According to Forbes, Batista was worth roughly $30 billion, which made him the seventh wealthiest man in the world at the time. Batista had stated in interviews that he planned on using his enormous wealth to fuel Brazil’s economy and pave the way for entrepreneurs and innovation. He had indulged in philanthropic efforts like police car donations, hotel renovations, and lake preservations.
Batista’s oil company tanked in 2013, filling for bankruptcy after failing to meet production goals. A year later, he continued to struggle as faced a massive recession.
The mining tycoon will remain free as the investigation continues, but he will likely not rebound from this case. Watching the fall of a successful figure is never easy, especially for a country who needed his help in turning their economy around.
Featured image via Flickr/Partido dos Trabalhadores