The New York Daily News broke the story that the Trump administration gave approximately $62-million in financial assistance to a Brazilian meatpacking company with Iowa ties, owned by two brothers guilty of bribing hundreds of officials in Brazil.
The USDA aid went to bail out JBS USA, a Colorado-based subsidiary of JBS SA, the Brazilian parent company owned by Joesley and Wesley Batista, and the money came from a $12-billion program that the Trump administration created to help U-S farmers, struggling as Trump’s trade battle with China escalates.
The Batista brothers were arrested in 2017 and accused of inside trading. Brazilian police arrested Joesley Batista again last year as part of an ongoing investigation into illegal campaign contributions. Both brothers have confessed to bribing high-level officials in Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture.
Their company, JBS SA, is the largest meat-packer in the world. Its U-S subsidiary, JBS USA, includes facilities in Marshalltown, Center Point, West Union, Marble Rock, Ottumwa and Council Bluffs, Iowa, according to company on-line postings.