SAO PAULO – Brazil’s Petrobras said on Thursday it has received a 1-billion-reais ($265.9-million) reimbursement for losses incurred due to a massive bribes-for-inflated contracts scheme centered on the state oil company.
Petrobras said those funds had been recovered as part of the sprawling Lava Jato (Car Wash) corruption investigation.
It marks the largest amount returned to Petrobras in a single payment, although more than 2.5 billion reais ($664.8 million) in diverted funds have been reimbursed to Petrobras since the start of the Lava Jato probe.
The money has been returned pursuant to plea deals with dozens of defendants implicated in the corruption scheme, Petrobras said in a regulatory filing.
“The company, which is recognized by authorities as a victim of these uncovered actions, will continue to adopt the necessary measures against the companies and individuals that caused it losses,” the filing read.
Prosecutors say Odebrecht and other large Brazilian engineering companies paid bribes to corrupt Petrobras officials in exchange for inflated contracts and funneled money to politicians who provided cover for the graft.
The scheme carried out at Petrobras was replicated at other state companies.
Brazilian former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is the highest profile individual to be convicted of bribe-taking and money laundering as part of the Lava Jato investigation.
Lula, whose corruption convicted was upheld by an appeals court earlier this year, is serving a more than 12-year prison sentence.
He vehemently denies all of the charges and says they are a politically motivated attempt to prevent him from returning to the presidency in the October general election.