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Petrobras Probe Portends Brazil Enforcement Crackdown

Jaclyn Jaeger | March 17, 2015

Suddenly anti-corruption enforcement seems to be a serious effort in Brazil—to the point that businesses working there might want to pay more heed to enforcement risks from Brazilian regulators themselves, plus the usual scrutiny from U.S. regulators policing against corruption in emerging markets.

The most high-profile example is the massive corruption probe surrounding state-owned oil company Petrobras, under investigation for awarding inflated contracts to construction and engineering companies, which then funneled kickbacks to Petrobras executives and politicians.

New developments in the case unfolded March 11, when Brazil’s Office of the Comptroller General (the anti-corruption enforcement body of the federal government) opened a case against 10 additional Brazilian construction companies that have contracts with Petrobras. Brazil’s Supreme Court also approved the investigation of 54 politicians for their alleged involvement in the kickback scheme. In total, more...

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