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Brazilian federal court dismisses corruption charges against Joseph Safra

A Brazilian federal court dismissed corruption charges against banker Joseph Safra originating from an inquiry over alleged bribe payments to government tax officials in exchange for writing off corporate tax debts, Reuters reported.

In a statement, Safra Group said the court's decision precludes "the continuation of the action for lack of just cause and the proceeding ... is now closed."

In March, prosecutors had asked for charges to be brought against the billionaire banker over an alleged bribery payment scheme from 2014 when executives at Banco Safra SA's asset management unit, JS Administração de Recursos, reportedly planned to pay 15.3 million Brazilian reais to federal tax auditors, according to the report. Safra has denied the allegations.

The case against Safra is part of a wider national investigation into tax-fraud allegations involving dozens of Brazilian firms.

As of Dec. 12, US$1 was equivalent to 3.35 Brazilian reais.