(Adds details throughout on alleged money laundering scheme)
By Gram Slattery and Pedro Fonseca
RIO DE JANEIRO, May 28 (Reuters) - Prosecutors in Brazil criticized compliance standards at Brazilian bank Banco Bradesco SA on Tuesday, after requesting that a federal court issue an arrest warrant for two branch managers allegedly involved in a vast money laundering scheme.
In a statement, federal prosecutors in Rio de Janeiro asked for the temporary jailing of Tânia Maria Aragão de Souza Fonseca and Robson Luiz Cunha Silva, both bank managers in the city. They also asked for the jailing of businessman Júlio César Pinto de Andrade.
Prosecutors in the case are part of Brazil’s ‘Car Wash’ task force, an investigative squad that has uncovered vast levels of corruption at major companies and every level of government. While their probe focused on kickbacks paid to executives of state-run companies, it has spiraled outward in recent years to various industries.
They described the three suspects as co-conspirators in cahoots with corrupt operatives of Sérgio Cabral, a jailed former governor of Rio de Janeiro state who is serving more than 100 years in prison for multiple corruption charges.
Using a complex scheme involving shell companies, fraudulent checks and bank slips, the three arrested individuals helped launder nearly 1 billion reais ($249 million), prosecutors said.
“The evidence collected here doesn’t leave any room for doubt that the financial institutions where these accounts were opened, particularly Banco Bradesco, did not comply with compliance standards,” federal prosecutors in Rio de Janeiro said.
Bradesco said in a statement that it will make itself fully available to authorities and will investigate the accusations when they become “officially available.” It added that it rigorously observes the “norms of ethical conduct.”
The individuals named in the case could not immediately be located by Reuters.
Brazil-listed preferred shares in Bradesco were down 0.5% in morning trade, while the benchmark Bovespa index was roughly flat.
($1 = 4.02 reais)
Reporting by Pedro Fonseca and Gram Slattery Additional reporting by Alberto Alerigi Jr. in Sao Paulo Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Steve Orlofsky