Latin American construction conglomerate, Odebrecht has been fined $2.6bn by a US judge on grounds of corruption charges revolving around Brazil’s state-owned petroleum company, Petrobras.
The judge ruled that Brazil will be paid $2.39bn while the remainder will go to the US and Swiss authorities, as reported by the BBC.
Odebrecht will pay the amount to settle multiple bribery charges it has been facing in 12 countries in the Latin American region with some of the bribes getting transferred through American banks.
In December last year, Both the Brazilian engineering giant, Odebrecht along with its petrochemical affiliate Braskem had pleaded guilty "in a deal designed to draw a line under the company's wrongdoings."
The judgment in the US comes in the wake of Odebrecht’s negotiations with other governments in a bid to get the opportunity to place tenders for important infrastructure projects in the future.
Odebrecht has been negotiating with several countries in this regard such as Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Panama, Ecuador, Portugal, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and Peru.
The corruption scandal involved politicians and executives of oil companies along with construction companies to have colluded to accept bribes and kickbacks in the tune of billions from Petrobras.
An investigation into Petrobras which lasted for about three years culminated into the charges against Odebrecht whose CEO Marcelo Odebrecht was given a jail sentence of 19 years.
Odebrecht was charged of paying over $788m worth bribes to illegally bag projects in various countries including the ones it got by paying Petrobras employees and executives.
Prosecutors in the lawsuit against Odebrecht argued that the bribes resulted in the company benefitting by around $3.3bn, as reported by Business Standard.