World

Brazil judge orders return of assets seized from ex-billionaire Eike Batista and his family

FILE - In this Nov. 18, 2014 file photo, former billionaire Eike Batista, a Brazilian tycoon once named No. 7 on Forbes' list of the world's richest people, attends his hearing at a federal criminal court in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. On Tuesday, April 28, 2015, a Rio de Janeiro judge has ordered the return of Batista's seized property, who’s now fighting inside trading and other charges. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File)

FILE - In this Nov. 18, 2014 file photo, former billionaire Eike Batista, a Brazilian tycoon once named No. 7 on Forbes' list of the world's richest people, attends his hearing at a federal criminal court in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. On Tuesday, April 28, 2015, a Rio de Janeiro judge has ordered the return of Batista's seized property, who’s now fighting inside trading and other charges. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File)  (The Associated Press)

A Rio de Janeiro judge has ordered the return of property including luxury cars seized from Brazil's one-time richest man, Eike Batista, who's now fighting inside trading and other charges.

Magistrate Vitor Barbosa Valpuesta also ordered the return of property seized from Batista's wife and ex-wife, as well as his two sons.

Valpuesta continued the impoundment of more than $50 million, saying that amount would be enough to cover any damages or fines if Batista is convicted.

Tuesday's order adds to the roller-coaster character of Batista's legal saga, which saw a judge dismissed from the case after he was spotted driving a luxury vehicle he'd ordered seized from the magnate.

Batista's much-publicized petroleum, mining and ship-building empire crumbled last year.