On February 26, 2021, BRF S.A., a Brazilian food processing issuer headquartered in Itajai, Santa Catarina, announced that it had received a letter from the Division of Enforcement of the US Securities and Exchange Commission stating that the SEC staff had concluded its investigation of BRF and did not intend to recommend an enforcement action against the company. The company first announced the SEC investigation, and a parallel investigation by the US Department of Justice, on April 26, 2017, several weeks after an investigation by the Brazilian Federal Police was made public.
The Brazilian investigation was first announced on March 9, 2017, following the issuance by a Brazilian court of order permitting the search and seizure of documents from BRF, as well as the questioning of BRF employees as part of an investigation dubbed “Carne Fraca” (Weak Flesh), which was examining whether BRF and other companies had paid bribes to government inspectors so that the companies could sell expired and tainted meat. The investigation resulted in the firing of dozens of Brazilian sanitary inspectors, the suspension of export licenses and closure of several meat packing plants, and the restructuring of parts of the Brazilian agricultural sector. Several meat importing countries—including the US, Japan, China and the European Union—banned some or all meat imports from Brazil.
In its announcement of the conclusion of the SEC investigation, BRF stated that it is committed to continued collaboration with the Brazilian authorities and the DOJ in their ongoing investigations of the facts raised under the Carne Fraca operation.