Ohio Pension Looking to Lead Suit Against Brazilian Oil Company

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The Ohio Public Employee Retirement System has asked to be a lead plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit against Brazilian oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA.

The pension fund is a shareholder of the company, and says it lost money – $50 million – when Petroleo stock declined after fraud allegations came to light.

More from Cleveland.com:

The Ohio Public Employee Retirement System, or OPERS, is one of three state pension funds that asked a federal court on Friday to head up the federal lawsuit against Petroleo Brasileiro SA, according to Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office.

The semi-public company, known as Petrobras, has been accused of inflating construction costs in exchange for kickbacks, DeWine’s office said in a news release.

OPERS and other shareholders saw their Petrobras stock value plummet after Brazilian prosecutors announced the corruption allegations, according to the release.

Being named as a lead plaintiff in the lawsuit would give OPERS more control over the direction of the case, said DeWine spokesman Dan Tierney.

Besides OPERS, pension funds in Hawaii and Idaho would also be named lead plaintiffs, according to a motion filed in U.S. District Court in New York City, the attorney general’s office said.

Petroleo Brasileiro SA stock has fallen from $20 in September to $6.50 at the beginning of February.


Photo by ezioman via Flickr CC License

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