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Petrobras oil shops to plead guilty to money laundering: Documents



(Reuters) – A former US-based oil trader searched in Brazil over a VAT area with the merchandise trade Vitol, Glencore and Trafigura have agreed to commit conspiracy to commit money laundering in the US, the court

a cooperation agreement with a key in Brazil's "Car Wash" probe in corruption in the state oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA, according to people familiar with the issue. That scandal has disappeared presidents in two countries and sent over 130 politicians and businessmen to prison over Latin America.

Rodrigo Garcia Berkowitz, who worked as a trader for Petrobras in Houston until last year, abstained from a prosecution and offered to plead guilty to the charge, according to documents filed in the US District Court in Brooklyn. The court accepted the request and puts judgment for sept 1

3.

Mr. Berkowitz is among 12 former Petrobras employees and middlemen are charged in Brazil in December in connection with a system that Brazilian investigators have said offered Vitol, Glencore and Trafigura lower prices for oil and services and then split the savings, the authorities have said. The business took place between 2011 and 2014.

Vitol declined to comment on the agreement and added that it has a zero tolerance policy for bribery and corruption and fully cooperates with relevant authorities. Petrobras said it fired Berkowitz and works with prosecutors in Brazil.

Glencore, who was not immediately available for comment, has previously said he collaborated with the Brazilian authorities. Trafigura has said it took the charges seriously.

The conspiracy to commit money laundering documents is not called Berkowitz. The case is against John Doe, a pseudonym that prosecutors sometimes use to keep the names of individuals involved in a public eye investigation.

But Berkowitz signed his name for an application to prosecute who was filed with court information. The application was approved by judge Raymond Dearie, federal court in Brooklyn.

Kent Schaffer, a supreme Houston criminal defense lawyer who signed court documents to represent John Doe, confirmed that Mr Berkowitz is the person named in the documents. He denied another comment.

Mr. Berkowitz, who lives in the United States, has collaborated with the New York Prosecutor who opened a probe in the charges, the people familiar with the matter have said.

John Marzulli, a spokesman for US lawyer Richard Donoghue, for the Eastern District of New York, refused to comment.

bribes allegedly paid to depositors from Petrobras moved via bank accounts in the United States, Great Britain, Sweden, Switzerland and Uruguay, the Brazilian authorities have said, paving the way for US prosecutors to search for violations of US money laundering laws.

The American District Office of the Eastern District of New York who settled the deal with Berkowitz has worked hand in hand with Brazilian prosecutors in the Car Wash probe earlier. At the end of 2016, they jointly negotiated with the construction company Odebrecht to reach a deal that resulted in a fine of $ 2.6 billion.

                    


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