Brazil: Petrobras CEO Guilty in Odebrecht Corruption Case

A federal judge sent on Wednesday former Petrobras CEO Aldemir Bendine to jail for 11 years for taking US$1million in bribes from the Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht, Reuters reported.

Reuniões Conjuntas 17302304375Aldemir Berdine (Source: Senado Federal, CC BY 2.0)What makes it worse is that Bendine was appointed as CEO in 2015 to clean up the company following its role in the major corruption scandal that involved both politicians and businessmen. Prior to his appointment to the Petrobras board, he led the state-owned bank, Banco do Brasil for six years.

The case was presided by the famous Brazilian anti-corruption judge, Sergio Moro.

Prosecutors had alleged that during his time as head of Banco do Brazil, Bendine orchestrated a $5million kickback for the rollover of a loan to Odebrecht. Later, Odebrecht refused to pay him, and once he was appointed to the Petrobras board, they gave him the $1million in exchange for unspecified favorable treatment from the company. 

Bendine maintains his innocence and denies having given or received special benefits.

The Petrobras and Odebrecht scandals have embroiled business elites and politicians across Latin America, culminating in hundreds of arrests, and billions of dollars in bribes paid.