RIO DE JANEIRO, July 10 (Reuters) - Brazilian engineering firm UTC Engenharia SA on Monday signed a leniency deal agreeing to pay the government 574 million reais ($176 million) for fraud related to 29 contracts with state-owned companies, the office of the attorney general said.
The state-owned companies include oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA and power utility Eletrobras .
Petrobras, as the oil company is known, was at the center of Brazil’s worst corruption scandal ever, in which a group of engineering firms bribed politicians and Petrobas executives in exchange for inflated contracts.
Press representatives for the attorney general said the settlement allowed the government to collect money more quickly than going through the courts.
The agreement gives UTC 22 years to pay the fine, but allows it to pay off debt first as financial conditions permit. Payments will be adjusted by the central bank’s benchmark Selic interest rate, which could boost the total to 3.1 billion reais, according to the attorney general’s office.
UTC has already been barred from doing business with the government for five years for fraud in bidding for the Angra 3 nuclear power plant along with other companies.
$1 = 3.25 reais Reporting by Alberto Alerigi Jr; Editing by Leslie Adler