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Braskem board OKs $101 million corruption settlement in Brazil

Christian Fernsby |
The board of Brazilian petrochemicals producer Braskem SA has approved an agreement with authorities to pay 410 million reais ($101 million) to settle its involvement in the ‘Car Wash’ corruption case, Braskem said on Monday in a filing.

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The sprawling corruption investigation known as Car Wash uncovered a web of political kickbacks and bribes involving overpriced engineering and construction firm contracts with state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA, known as Petrobras.

Braskem said the agreement with Brazil’s comptroller general’s office and the government’s solicitor general covered the same facts that were the subject of a global settlement reached in 2016 with the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Swiss Office of the Attorney General to resolve international charges involving payoffs to Petrobras.

Braskem and engineering group Odebrecht, which jointly owns the petrochemical firm with Petrobras, pleaded guilty in 2016 in U.S. federal court to conspiring to violate a U.S. bribery law, and agreed to pay U.S., Swiss and Brazilian authorities $3.6 billion to settle the case, the largest penalty ever in a foreign bribery case.

Following that settlement, a U.S. judge sentenced Braskem, Latin America’s biggest petrochemical company, to pay a $632.6 million criminal fine.

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