Petrobras scandal

Petrobras scandal,

Brazilian corruption scandal involving executives at the government-controlled oil company, Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. (Petrobras), prominent politicians, and construction firms working for Petrobras. Revealed by a government investigation begun in 2014 as a money laundering investigation and nicknamed Operação Lava Jato [operation car wash] for the gas station where money laundering of illegal gains took place, it became the largest corruption case in Brazil's history, involving overpayments made by large construction companies, especially Brazil's Odebrecht Group, to Petrobras to provide kickbacks to senior Petrobas executives and politicians and campaign funds to political parties. The payments, which extended from at least 2004 to 2012, ultimately totaled about $2 billion. Among those who came under investigation were officials in the Workers' party (PT), including members of the governments of Presidents Dilma RousseffRousseff, Dilma
, 1947–, Brazilian political leader, b. Belo Horizonte. The daughter of a Bulgarian immigrant lawyer and a Brazilian teacher, she was trained as an economist and studied at the Federal Univ. of Rio Grande do Sul (grad. 1977).
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 and Lula da Silvada Silva, Luiz Inácio
, 1945–, Brazilian labor leader and politician, known as Lula, b. Vargem Grande (now Caetés), Pernambuco. Born into a poor family, da Silva worked as a child to help support the household.
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, her predecessor, and politicians from other parties, primarily those in coalition with the PT, as well as Petrobas employees who had been bribed and businesses and executives that had signed overpriced contracts with the company. Michel TemerTemer, Michel
(Michel Miguel Elias Temer Lulia), 1940–, Brazilian political leader. The son of Lebanese immigrants, he studied law at the Univ. of São Paolo and the Pontifical Univ. of São Paolo, becoming a scholar of constitutional law.
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, Rousseff's vice president, who succeeded her as president after she was removed from office, was also implicated, as were several ministers in his cabinet and the speaker of Congress's lower house, Eduardo Cunha, who had led the impeachment drive that removed Rousseff from office in 2016. New allegations in Apr., 2017, concerning Odebrecht's bribery, implicated eight cabinet ministers and other prominent politicians and officials; the investigation also exposed the bribery employed by Odebrecht to secure government contracts throughout the world (see Odebrecht corruption scandalOdebrecht corruption scandal,
series of graft scandals involving the Grupo Odebrecht, a Brazilian construction and petrochemicals conglomerate, as well as Petrobras, the Brazilian multinational petroleum corporation, and numerous executives and public officials across the
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). Temer was accused of having sought to obstruct the Operação Lava Jato investigation, but the Brazilian Congress failed to pass a motion that would have allowed putting him on trial. In 2018 Petrobras paid $2.95 billion to settle a class action lawsuit brought by investors in the United States and later agreed to pay a fine of more than $853 million to Brazil and the United States.
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