CORRECTED-Bill Gates foundation trust sues Brazil's Petrobras

viernes 25 de septiembre de 2015 17:23 GYT

(Corrects first, second and sixth paragraphs to reflect that named plaintiff is Gates Foundation Trust, not Gates Foundation)

By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK, Sept 25 (Reuters) - The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust has sued Brazil's Petrobras to recoup stock losses stemming from a corruption scandal at the state-run oil company.

According to a complaint filed late Thursday night in federal court in Manhattan, Petrobras' "pervasive bribery and money laundering scheme" caused the trust and another plaintiff, WGI Emerging Markets Fund LLC, to lose tens of millions of dollars by investing in the company.

"Indeed, the scandal still seems to escalate by the day - as more guilty pleas, more arrests, and more secret bank accounts are uncovered," the complaint said.

Petrobras, whose formal name is Petroleo Brasileiro SA, is facing a slew of U.S. class-action litigation claiming that years of corruption, including bribery, inflated the value of more than $98 billion of its stock and bonds.

Created in 2000 by Microsoft Corp co-founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda, the foundation focuses on improving education and health and reducing poverty.

The trust is suing on its own, suggesting it believes it might recover more of its losses on Petrobras' American depositary shares that way. A Brazilian affiliate of Petrobras auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is also a defendant.

Petrobras and PwC had no immediate comment. Lawyers for the trust did not immediately respond to requests for comment.   Continuación...