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Americanas’ ex-chief testifies before watchdog after accounting scandal -source By Reuters

© Reuters.

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – The former chief executive of scandal-hit Brazilian retailer Americanas SA testified on Thursday at the country’s securities watchdog, a source familiar with the matter said, as authorities probe accounting inconsistencies.

Americanas entered bankruptcy protection in January shortly after disclosing accounting inconsistencies worth 20 billion reais ($3.78 billion) and overall debt of more than $8 billion. Securities watchdog CVM and other Brazilian authorities have since launched investigations.

The testimony of former Chief Executive Officer Miguel Gutierrez, whose two-decade leadership ended last year, lasted around four hours.

Gutierrez left CVM’s Rio de Janeiro headquarters accompanied by a lawyer and without speaking to reporters. He could not be immediately reached for comment, and CVM said in a statement it does not comment on specific cases.

The regulator has already heard from other former Americanas executives in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo states, including former Chief Executive Sergio Rial, who took over from Gutierrez just nine days before the scandal broke and resigned shortly after.

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