Eike Batista just got his big first fine related to the collapse of his billion-dollar empire

Eike BatistaREUTERS/Paulo WhitakerBrazilian billionaire Eike Batista delivers a speech during a meeting with businessmen in Sao Paulo

Former billionaire Eike Batista is facing his first official sanctions from the collapse of his billion-dollar empire.

The New York Times reported Wednesday that Brazil’s securities regulator charged Batista with a $US435,000 fine for failing to provide timely, important information to the public about his companies before they crashed.

Once the richest man in Brazil, Batista built his massive fortune by founding six publicly-traded companies in Brazil, including his flagship oil company OGX. OGX crashed in 2013, and Batista faces insider trading and stock market manipulation charges that allege he sold off shares with privileged information before its collapse.

The former billionaire’s lawyers said he would appeal the decision, which would suspend the fine for three to five years while the matter is resolved.

The securities violations fine is separate from Batista’s insider trading trial, but a criminal law professor told the New York Times that this could ultimately mean more criminal charges for Batista.

The judge previously presiding over Batista’s case was removed after he was seen driving Batista’s seized Porsche, and is currently under criminal investigation. Most recently, the judge admitted to embezzling more than $US250,000 in drug money.

A new judge has been appointed and his trial should resume soon.

In 2012, Batista had a net worth of $US35 billion. Since the fall of his empire, he’s earned the rare title of a negative billionaire, and owes more than $US1 billion.

Read more at the New York Times >>

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