Corruption case of Brazil’s state oil company Petrobras has marked a new development as Marcelo Odebrecht, the former CEO of South America’s biggest construction company, Odebrecht SA, was sentenced to 19 years in prison for his involvement in a sprawling scandal, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The scion of a billionaire family, 47-year-old Odebrecht was convicted of money laundering, corruption, and organized crime. Prosecutors alleged that Odebrecht had skimmed billions of dollars from Petrobras through inflated contracts, and channeled some of the funds to the ruling Workers’ Party and its allies as part of a years long pay-to-play scheme.
The Brazilian Federal Police said the indicted members of the group moved over $3.9b in what police term as ‘atypical’ financial transactions, UPI reported.
The Petrobras scandal has tarnished the image of major political leadership, including of President Dilma Rousseff and former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who was recently interrogated in connection with the case. According to Financial Times, Brazilian markets are hoping that the weakening of Lula da Silva will split the ruling Workers’ Party and leave the ex-president vulnerable to impeachment.