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The international side of the Odebrecht case

Rodrigo Amaral | March 28, 2017

Brazilian construction group Odebrecht adopted corruption as a “business model,” according to superstar judge Sergio Moro, who is heading the wide-ranging Carwash corruption investigation in the country. For a long time, the results were so good that the group apparently decided to export the model around the world—investing billions of dollars in the process. But as it did, it failed to recognize just how much it would provide a catalyst for law enforcement agencies to work across borders and to spur a global answer to global corruption problems. Odebrecht might be one of the great compliance failures of our time but, ironically, it might also help create much-improved compliance, anti-corruption, and law enforcement efforts in its wake.

As a result of plea bargain deals signed by the company and dozens of its executives with Brazilian, U.S., and Swiss authorities, the extraordinary extent of Odebrecht’s international bribery payments is coming to light. Executives have...

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