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Tax bribe allegations filed against Santander Brasil

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Tax bribe allegations filed against Santander Brasil

Brazil's federal prosecutor filed a complaint on May 6 againstBanco Santander (Brasil) SAregarding alleged bribes to Brazil's tax appeals council, the CARF, Valor Econômico reported.

The bank reportedly denies the allegations that are tied to anactive federal investigation called Operation Zealots. Several other Brazilian companieshave been charged with similar allegations from the investigation.

Allegations against Santander are tied to bribes for gettingrid of an 890 million Brazilian reais tax fine for income tax irregularities during1995 to 2000. Prosecutors, however, have not presented proof of any bribe paymentsbut are arguing the deal was documented through intercepted telephone conversationsand electronic messages.

Santander reportedly said any potential irregularities are theresponsibility of former controlling shareholders of Banco Bozano, which was acquiredby Santander in 2000.

As of May 6, US$1 was equivalentto 3.54 Brazilian reais.