World Economy

Brazil Executives Sentenced Over Corruption Scandal

Brazil Executives Sentenced Over Corruption ScandalBrazil Executives Sentenced Over Corruption Scandal

Federal Judge Sergio Moro handed out more prison sentences on Wednesday, this time to executives in Brazilian construction firm OAS, which was ensnared in the country’s biggest corruption scandal in history centered around state-run oil company Petrobras.

OAS Chief Executive Jose Aldemario Pinheiro Filho was sentenced to 16 years and 4 months, and was also ordered to pay fines, Reuters reported.

Executives almost never serve their full sentences in prison in Brazil. The courts more often grant requests for house arrest and reduced sentences after serving only a portion of the original sentence.

Pinheiro Filho was the latest of a series of high-level executives in the country to be sentenced by the local courts over their involvement in the scandal.

He and other executives at the engineering firm were found guilty of money laundering, organized crime and corruption in work on Petrobras’ Abreu e Lima refinery in Pernambuco state and on the Getulio Vargas refinery in Parana, both of which suffered serious cost overruns.

When consulted, an OAS representative said the company had not been informed yet of the sentences handed down by Moro.

Petrobras suppliers have faced a wave of corruption allegations since the beginning of last year. The growing scandal has led to the investigation of close to 50 Brazilian politicians and earlier this week moved closer to the presidency. Several of those politicians have denied wrongdoing while some haven’t commented on the investigation.

Jose Dirceu, former minister of ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, was arrested Monday on allegations he received bribes from former Petrobras executives.

A lawyer representing Dirceu said he denies wrongdoing. Da Silva, who handpicked President Dilma Rousseff as his party’s candidate to succeed him, and Rousseff haven’t been implicated in the Petrobras scandal.