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More Misconduct Tales to Tell Your Company

Matt Kelly | January 19, 2015

As we move into 2015 and the good economic times that seem to be carrying the United States along, it’s time for a refresher course in Why Ethics & Compliance Matter. We have two new examples that can go straight into your training materials.

We start with Brazil, formerly the economic dynamo of Latin America. Petrobras, the gigantic state-owned oil company there, now teeters on the brink of implosion thanks to a bribery scandal, and might take a considerable chunk of the already-sluggish Brazilian economy down with it. You want a good answer when employees in emerging markets ask why they should care about anti-corruption programs? This is it.

The allegations against Petrobras are well known: executives at the company conspired with construction firms and other business partners to inflate the value of Petrobras contracts by 3 percent, and then funneled that cash to the ruling Workers Party in Brasilia. Prosecutors moved in November, arresting 30 in connection...

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