September 20, 2016 / 11:57 AM / 2 years ago

Brazil's Odebrecht may pay whistleblowers $275 mln, Valor says

SAO PAULO, Sept 20 (Reuters) - Brazilian engineering conglomerate Odebrecht SA may agree to pay up to 900 million reais ($275 million) in compensation to whistleblowers within the company to settle a major graft and money-laundering probe, newspaper Valor Economico reported on Tuesday.

Valor reported, citing unnamed sources participating in legal discussions, that Odebrecht was negotiating average compensation of 15 million reais for each of the 40 to 60 executives who are testifying and agreeing to leave their respective industries in a sweeping settlement.

Salvador, Brazil-based Odebrecht, Latin America’s largest engineering conglomerate, is also expected to return some 6 billion reais to public coffers, including those of several state companies in Brazil, which it allegedly overcharged in a contract-fixing and political kickback scheme, Valor said.

Odebrecht representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The report underscores expectations that Odebrecht is nearing a blockbuster settlement as it tries to turn the page on Brazil’s biggest-ever corruption scandal that has tightened access to financing and forced asset sales.

Two other engineering giants under investigation, Construtora Andrade Gutierrez SA and Construtora Camargo Correa SA, already reached settlements and agreed to a combined 1.8 billion reais in the case, known in Brazil as “Operation Car Wash.”

$1 = 3.27 Brazilian reais Reporting by Brad Haynes; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama; Editing by Guillermo Parra-Bernal

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