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Itaú's complaint over bribe offer from CARF adviser leads to arrest

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Itaú's complaint over bribe offer from CARF adviser leads to arrest

Brazil's federal police arrested an adviser from the country'stax appeals board, known as CARF, after Itaú Unibanco Holding SA filed a complaint saying thatit had received a bribery offer in exchange for a favorable judgment in taxproceedings involving the bank.

"Given the ethical and transparency principles thatguide our work, we voluntarily reported the facts to the competent authorities,who had started monitoring the adviser's activities, culminating in his arrest,"Itaú said in a July 7 news release.

In May, CARF ruledagainst one of Itaú's employee profit-sharing programs, which couldgenerate fines of up to 1.15 billion Brazilian reais, plus penalties andinterest, for the bank. It was not stated, however, what type of taxes thealleged bribery offer was related to.

The CARFadviser that was arrested is João Carlos Figueiredo Neto, Valor Econômico reported. He was nabbed July 6 duringan ongoing controlled investigation once authorization was granted by a FederalDistrict court, the police said in a July 7 news release.

The CARFhas recently been involved in an overall broader federal investigation into taxbribe allegations.

In May, the federal police 10 people, including threeexecutives from Banco Bradesco SA,for alleged bribe payments made to CARF officials.

In April, a federal court accepted corruption against Brazilian bankerJoseph Safra, along with five other people, as part of the same ongoing federalinvestigation.

As of July 7, US$1 wasequivalent to 3.34 Brazilian reais.