(Bloomberg) -- President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said the collapse of retailer Americanas SA was a result of “fraud” committed by one of its biggest shareholders, Brazilian billionaire Jorge Paulo Lemann.

The leftist leader, speaking in a TV interview that will be aired later Thursday, compared Lemann, Brazil’s richest man, to Eike Batista, who occupied the same position before his companies collapsed and he was briefly arrested for bribery and market manipulation.

“Lemann was presented as the epitome of a successful businessman, he was the man who preached against corruption every day and now he committed a fraud that could reach 40 billion reais ($7.9 billion),” Lula said in a clip of the interview posted on Twitter. “It’s going happen what happened to Eike Batista.”

Lemann didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.

Rio de Janeiro-based Americanas imploded following the revelation that it was hiding more than 20 billion reais ($4 billion) in debt. The retailer has been backed by Lemann, Marcel Telles and Carlos Alberto Sicupira for more than four decades.

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