June 28, 2016 / 12:32 PM / 2 years ago

Former Hypermarcas executive admits bribes to Brazil senators -report

BRASILIA, June 28 (Reuters) - A former executive at Hypermarcas, a Brazilian consumer goods maker, told prosecutors he paid 30 million reais ($8.85 million) in bribes to senators from the ruling PMDB party, newspaper Estado de S. Paulo reported on Tuesday.

In a securities filing to comment on the report, Hypermarcas said an external audit found evidence that the former executive, Nelson Mello, authorized expenses without receipts “on his own initiative,” but reimbursed the company later. The bribery admissions were reportedly part of a plea deal.

Hypermarcas did not give details of the alleged payments made to two lobbyists representing PMDB senators, including Senate president Renan Calheiros and former Planning Minister Romero Jucá, according to the report.

A spokeswoman for Jucá said he denied the accusation and has not authorized anyone to speak on his behalf. Representatives for Calheiros did not immediately respond to request for comments. He denied to Estado receiving any payments.

Mello left Hypermarcas in March 2016. His plea bargain deal is not related to the massive corruption probe centered around Brazil’s state-run oil company Petrobras, but prosecutors will ask the Supreme Court to authorize further investigations of the senators, Estado said. ($1 = 3.3901 Brazilian reais) (Reporting by Silvio Cascione; Additional reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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