Brazil’s Superior Court of Justice confirmed the freezing of $303.61 million in the assets of former Rio de Janeiro governor Sérgio Cabral and those of five other people, in addition to French tire giant Michelin. In the ruling, which grants a request lodged by Rio prosecutors, Justice Benedito Gonçalves rejects a motion by Michelin to suspend the freezing.
The court thus upholds the appellate decision issued by the Rio de Janeiro Court of Justice, which in turn confirms the decision of the 14th Tax Court, which stipulated, in November 2016, that Cabral and the other charged should have their assets frozen.
In Michelin’s case, the motion seeks compensation for the state goods and services tax, which the company refrained from paying due to tax breaks.
The fiscal breaks, Rio prosecutors say, were granted Michelin as of 2010. The company would indefinitely put off the payment of the tax for the acquisition of new machinery at its facility in Itatiaia, in south Rio de Janeiro. The assets frozen by the authorities add up to the value of the tax breaks granted.
In a note, the company said ethics and transparency are its pillars, adding that it “retains its position before the Rio de Janeiro court, and will appeal against the ruling issued by the Superior Court of Justice.”
“Ever bound to its centuries-old values, the company reiterates its respect for the law currently in effect and its dedication towards contributing to the economic development of the state of Rio de Janeiro,” the note goes on to read.