Former billionaire tycoon Eike Batista was always confident that he would break a lot of records for Brazil.
Back in 2012, he was certain he’d be the first person from Brazil to be the richest man on the planet.
Now there’s a possibility that he could go down for insider trading.
According the Dealbook, the Rio de Janeiro public prosecutor’s office has been investigating Batista since April and just filed charges.
Batista is accused of insider trading and manipulating the stock price of his flagship oil and gas company, OGX.
When the company went bankruptcy last year it was itself a first — the largest corporate bankruptcy in Latin American history.
This is what went down according to the prosecution. As OGX’s proverbial ship was going down back in 2012 Batista said that he would use his once-$34 billion fortune to buy up stock if management asked him to do so. That sent OGX soaring.
When management did ultimately try to exercise that option, Batista refused to pay up. Prosecutors say that he never intended to fulfil his promise and that he intentionally he manipulated the stock by publicly stating that he would.
Prosecutors are also saying that Batista sold shares of OGX illegally when he found out about the problems that ultimately brought the company down — anemic output from oil wells that were supposed to be rich with black gold.
Now a judge just has to give the go-ahead for the case to proceed. Batista could face up to 13 years in prison.
In the meantime, $US645 million worth Batista’s assets have been frozen. Prosecutors say that’s about the amount of damage his insider trading caused the Brazilian stock market.