13 de marzo de 2016 / 18:10 / en 2 años

Brazil prosecutors seek $2 bln from Odebrecht, Petrobras executives

BRASILIA, March 13 (Reuters) - Brazilian prosecutors late on Saturday accused executives from construction conglomerate Odebrecht and state-run oil company Petrobras of misconduct and demanded they pay 7.3 billion reais ($2 billion) in damages.

Prosecutors accused Odebrecht of paying bribes to win multi-billion dollar contracts with Petrobras as part of a massive corruption scheme that implicated dozens of politicians and top executives.

Odebrecht is currently under investigation for its involvement in the graft and influence-peddling scandal at Petrobras known as “Operation Car Wash.” Family member Marcelo Bahia Odebrecht, who ran the company since 2008 until recent months, was sentenced on Tuesday to about 19 years in prison in connection with the scandal.

In a written statement, the prosecutors of the task force investigating the scheme said they have evidence that Odebrecht paid bribes to win contracts at the oil refineries Getulio Vargas and Abreu e Lima as well in a Rio de Janeiro petrochemical plant and the Gasduc gas pipeline.

Odebrecht’s press office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The scandal has undercut Odebrecht’s access to financing, and the group - which has more than a dozen business units - is currently seeking to ease a swelling debt burden. ($1 = 3.5811 Brazilian reais) (Reporting by Alonso Soto; Editing by Andrew Hay)

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