Brazilian construction tycoon sentenced to 19 years in prison

March 8, 2016 8:00 pm
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Marcelo Odebrecht answers questions during a 2015 parliamentary hearing in the Brazilian city of Curitiba/AFP
Marcelo Odebrecht answers questions during a 2015 parliamentary hearing in the Brazilian city of Curitiba/AFP
BRASÍLIA, Mar 8 – Brazilian construction tycoon Marcelo Odebrecht was sentenced Tuesday to 19 years in prison for corruption and money laundering in the giant Petrobras embezzlement scandal shaking Latin America’s biggest country.

Odebrecht, who has already been behind bars nearly nine months, was CEO until December of the global construction company Odebrecht, which has been unmasked as one of the main players in a bribes-and-embezzlement scheme that cost state oil company Petrobras at least $2 billion.

Overview
  • Odebrecht, who has already been behind bars nearly nine months, was CEO until December of the global construction company Odebrecht, which has been unmasked as one of the main players in a bribes-and-embezzlement scheme that cost state oil company Petrobras at least $2 billion.
  • Odebrecht, 47, was sentenced to 19 years and four months in prison as a result of his conviction in the probe dubbed Operation Car Wash.

Odebrecht, 47, was sentenced to 19 years and four months in prison as a result of his conviction in the probe dubbed Operation Car Wash.

Prosecutors say that Odebrecht SA, a construction giant with projects around the world, was among the major contractors overbilling Petrobras, in collusion with executives and politicians.

The scandal has already seen dozens of businessmen and politicians arrested or put under investigation, including former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who faces allegations of taking bribes and laundering money from Petrobras-connected companies.

Lula, who has not been charged, denies any corruption. However, the shockwaves from the scandal are fueling calls for his successor President Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment.

Political temperatures rose sharply last Friday when police briefly detained Lula and searched his house and the offices of his foundation, prompting sharp criticism from Rousseff.

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