Former CEO of Brazil's Americanas Denies Knowledge of Accounting Fraud

Former Americanas Chief Executive Miguel Gutierrez denies any knowledge of accounting irregularities during the two decades he was at the helm of the Brazilian retailer, he said in a letter sent to congressional investigators, Reuters reported. Gutierrez never "participated, authorized, ordered, tolerated or became aware of any act tending to manipulate the company's accounting or to enable any type of fraud", he said in the Sept. 4 letter sent to the congressional committee investigating the company's near-collapse and viewed by Reuters. Americanas disputed Gutierrez's assertion, reiterating in a statement that independent advisers it had hired had found that management at the time had "fraudulently altered" documents to hide the circumstances that led to its bankruptcy filing. The company, which runs of chain of stores and one of Brazil's largest e-commerce retailers, was thrown into crisis early this year by the disclosure of more than 20 billion reais ($4 billion) of accounting inconsistencies. Allegations that Gutierrez and other executives were involved in accounting fraud were first made in June. Read more.