NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Pomerantz LLP announces that a class action lawsuit has been filed against BRF S.A. (“BRF” or the “Company”) (NYSE: BRFS) and certain of its officers. The class action, filed in United States District Court, Southern District of New York, and docketed under 18-cv-02213, is on behalf of a class consisting of investors who purchased or otherwise acquired BRF American Depositary Receipts (“ADRs”) between April 4, 2013 and March 2, 2018, both dates inclusive (the “Class Period”), seeking to recover damages caused by Defendants’ violations of the federal securities laws and to pursue remedies under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”) and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, against the Company and certain of its top officials.
If you are a shareholder who purchased BRF ADRs between April 4, 2013 and March 2, 2018, both dates inclusive, you have until May 11, 2018, to ask the Court to appoint you as Lead Plaintiff for the class. A copy of the Complaint can be obtained at www.pomerantzlaw.com. To discuss this action, contact Robert S. Willoughby at firstname.lastname@example.org or 888.476.6529 (or 888.4-POMLAW), toll-free, Ext. 9980. Those who inquire by e-mail are encouraged to include their mailing address, telephone number, and the number of shares purchased.
BRF S.A. is a food processor and the world’s largest poultry exporter. Its portfolio includes established brands in Brazil and abroad, such as Sadia, Perdigão, Qualy, Chester, Perdix and Paty. The Company provides meat (poultry and pork), foods processed from meats, pizzas, pastas and frozen vegetables.
The Complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s business, operational and compliance policies. Specifically, Defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (i) BRF employees paid bribes to regulators and politicians to subvert inspections in order to conceal unsanitary practices at the Company’s meatpacking plants; (ii) the foregoing conduct, when it came to light, would foreseeably subject the Company and its officers to heightened regulatory enforcement and/or prosecution; and (iii) as a result of the foregoing, BRF’s public statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.
On March 17, 2017, news outlets reported that Brazilian federal police had raided the offices of BRF and dozens of other meatpackers following a two-year investigation into alleged bribery of regulators to subvert inspections of their plants. The probe, known as “Operation Weak Flesh”, had uncovered some 40 cases of meatpackers who had bribed inspectors and politicians to overlook unsanitary practices, such as processing rotten meat and running plants with traces of salmonella. According to media reports, police found evidence that the companies were tampering with packages to sell products that had already expired and that higher-than permitted levels of parts such as “pig heads” were mixed with sausages and cold cuts. Police arrested three BRF employees, as well as 20 public officials.
On this news, BRF’s ADR price fell $0.99, or 7.73%, to close at $11.81 on March 17, 2017.
On February 23, 2018, the Company held an earnings conference call with investors and analysts to discuss the Q4 2017 earnings results. In the call, Chairman of the Board Abilio Diniz and CFO Lorival Luz discussed the impact of “Operation Weak Flesh.”
On this news, BRF’s ADR price fell $0.76, or 8.00%, to close at $8.73 on February 23, 2018.
On March 5, 2018, Reuters reported that Brazilian federal police arrested BRF’s former Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) Pedro de Andrade Faria (“Faria”) on charges that he and other executives, including the Company’s Vice President of Global Operations Hélio dos Santos Júnior, were aware that BRF committed fraud by trying to avoid food safety checks. According to the report, the “police cited evidence that five laboratories accredited by the Agriculture Ministry colluded with the analysis department of BRF to “falsify” test results related to the safety of its industrial process.” In a court ruling authorizing the arrests, Brazilian federal judge André Duszczak said “Faria and other BRF officers sought to cover up claims of possible food contamination, as shown in certain laboratory tests, made by a former employee in a labor lawsuit.”
On this news, BRF’s ADR price fell $1.83 or 19.42% to close at $7.59 on March 5, 2018.
The Pomerantz Firm, with offices in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Paris, is acknowledged as one of the premier firms in the areas of corporate, securities, and antitrust class litigation. Founded by the late Abraham L. Pomerantz, known as the dean of the class action bar, the Pomerantz Firm pioneered the field of securities class actions. Today, more than 80 years later, the Pomerantz Firm continues in the tradition he established, fighting for the rights of the victims of securities fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty, and corporate misconduct. The Firm has recovered numerous multimillion-dollar damages awards on behalf of class members. See www.pomerantzlaw.com