Brazil Bribery Scandal May Have Involved Pension Fund: Report

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Brazil is in the midst of the largest corruption scandal in the country’s history, but it still could get bigger. A Brazilian paper this week reported that the bribery may have extended to pension funds.

Executives at numerous engineering firms and Petrobras, the world’s sixth-biggest energy company, are accused of using company money to bribe politicians for contracts.

Reuters explains how pension funds might fit in:

Brazil’s top prosecutor has found evidence that a bribe scheme involving local engineering firms and the state oil company extended to pension funds and a workers’ fund, benefiting the ruling Workers’ Party and allies, newspaper Folha de S. Paulo reported on Friday.

The paper said the potential new front in Brazil’s largest-ever corruption investigation was based on a slew of text messages leaked to the local press on Thursday from Leo Pinheiro, the convicted former head of engineering firm OAS.

“According to what can be inferred from the messages, there were debentures issued by the companies acquired by banks … or by pension funds where there is political interference,” top Brazilian prosecutor Rodrigo Janot wrote in documents seen by Folha.

Janot said the messages indicated OAS might have paid bribes to politicians, including House Speaker Eduardo Cunha, or made official campaign donations to political parties in exchange for the financial transactions that raised funds, according to Folha.

One OAS executive has already been sentenced to 16 years in prison.

 

Photo by c_ambler via Flickr CC License

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