Corruption Investigation in Brazil Recovers $270 Million*
Plea deals under the country’s largest corruption investigation have allowed the Brazilian government to recover millions that were lost.
Agreements with those under investigation for corruption in Brazil led to the recovery of US$275.6 million in the last two weeks, according to the Attorney General’s office.
Plea deals in Operation Car Wash, an ongoing investigation into the largest bribery scheme in the country’s history, helped the government retrieve the large sum of money. The government is expected to retrieve more funds in coming days.
The announcement comes after the Federal Police decided to eliminate a special team dedicated to investigating the cases, which uncovered possible wrongdoings by hundreds of politicians, including President Michel Temer.
“The expressive and unprecedented amount recovered in 10 days reveals that this technique allows in record time the advance of compensation for damages caused to the public coffers,” said the Prosecutor’s office in the state of Parana, where corruption investigations are being held.
The fines have been paid by companies connected to the corruption ring, such as Odebrecht, Brazil’s largest construction company, Braskem, Odebrecht’s petrochemical subsidiary and Andrade Gutierrez, the country’s second-largest construction company.
The largest fine collected belongs to Braskem, which on Wednesday deposited about US$224.5 million. The company will need to pay approximately US$954 million throughout the next six years as part of an agreement reached with prosecutors in December.
Operation Car Wash, which began in March 2014 with investigations into alleged bribes within the Petrobras oil company, later unearthed the largest corruption case in Brazilian history.
Temer, who has repeatedly denounced the investigation, faces possible suspension and impeachment if the Lower House of Congress and the Supreme Court approve a trial based on the corruption charges presented against him. Prosecutors allege Temer arranged to eventually receive a total of US$11.49 million from the largest meatpacking company in the country, JBS.
Opposition lawmakers have criticized the government and warned that Temer and his aides could find ways to block the investigation by the Federal Police.