Americanas appeal decision that authorized computer searches to investigate fraud

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Americanas appealed this Friday (27) against a court decision that authorized expertise in the company’s computers in search of evidence of fraud in the retail giant’s management, obtained on Thursday (26) by Bradesco.

The company alleges that, “at no time”, was it indicated that there was accounting fraud in the company, that the case is already investigated by authorities and that the delivery of emails from executives creates the risk of leaking the privacy of third parties to the press. unrelated to the case.

The office that represents Bradesco has already manifested itself in the records asking that the Court not accept the appeal, claiming that “Americanas was the stage for one of the biggest accounting frauds by the private sector”. The emails are also targeted by the CVM (Securities and Exchange Commission).

In Thursday’s decision, judge Andréa Galhardo Palma, from the 2The Business Court of the Court of Justice of São Paulo, appointed Ernest & Young to accompany the diligence on the retailer’s computers. Lawyer Patrícia Punder will carry out the investigative expertise.

It authorized searches of all institutional email boxes of directors, members of the Board of Directors and Audit Committee, accounting and finance employees — both current and those who have held these positions in the last ten years.

In the appeal, Americanas says that Ernst & Young itself had already been hired by the Americanas Group itself to independently investigate the accounting scandal that came to light on the last 11th.

He further states that “despite numerous sensationalist news that were attached to the original records, it was never indicated, at any time, that there would have been, effectively, an accounting fraud on the part of any individuals, neither by the shareholders of the Americanas Group, nor by its administrators “.

“The Americanas Group does not disagree, at any time, that the facts that caused the recently detected accounting inconsistencies should be the object of effective investigation”, he says. “But haste, as the popular saying goes, is the enemy of perfection.”

In the text, the offices that advise Americanas say that the “predatory posture of hasty creditors” ended up precipitating the company’s moves, such as the request for judicial protection against the early redemption of debts.

“There is a risk, given the interest of the media, of leakage, aggravated by the lack of enactment of secrecy of the documents to be seized, for the media of information of the intimacy of third parties outside the dispute”, continues the request.

In response to the appeal, the office that advises Bradesco says that “the simple fact that Americanas has started an internal investigation does not replace the importance of an external expertise, truly independent and free of strings”.

“Especially if it is verified that those responsible for the fraud or eventual beneficiaries of harmful practices may be acting internally in the company to erase information and harm the investigation”, he argues.

Also on Thursday, the CVM asked Judge Palma for access to the evidence obtained in the process initiated by Bradesco, claiming that they may be useful for the administrative processes that she conducts on the case.

The CVM investigates everything from compliance with rules for disclosing relevant facts to the sale of shares by directors of Americanas in recent years.

One of the lawsuits includes the trio of billionaire reference shareholders and the company’s board of directors for omitting relevant information in the first statement about the accounting scandal that led to the filing for bankruptcy last Thursday (19).

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