Class Action Complaint Against Petroleo Brasileiro S.A.- Petrobas and Certain Additional Defendants – PBR
March 30, 2015 07:30 ET | Source: Pomerantz LLP
NEW YORK, March 30, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Lead Counsel Pomerantz LLP announces the filing of a consolidated amended securities class action complaint (“CAC”) against Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. — Petrobras (“Petrobras” or the “Company”) (NYSE:PBR), its wholly-owned subsidiaries Petrobras International Finance Company S.A. (“PifCo”) and Petrobras Global Finance B.V. (“PGF”), certain individual defendants, as well as certain underwriters and the Company’s auditor, PriceWaterhouseCoopers Auditores Independentes. The class action is pending in the Southern District of New York.
The CAC alleges claims under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Securities Act of 1933 on behalf of all persons or entities who purchased or otherwise acquired the securities of Petrobras, as well as debt securities issued by PifCo and PGF, on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) between January 22, 2010 and March 18, 2015, inclusive (the “Class Period”), or pursuant to other domestic transactions (the “Class”). The CAC also alleges violations of the Brazilian Corporate Law, the Brazilian Civil Code, the Brazilian Securities Law, and the Brazilian Securities Commission Regulations, on behalf of all persons or entities who purchased or otherwise acquired Petrobras securities on the Brazilian stock exchange during the Class Period that also purchased shares on the NYSE.
The Consolidated Amended Complaint alleges that Petrobras and its senior executives engaged in a multi-year, multi-billion dollar money-laundering and bribery scheme, which was concealed from investors. Significantly, Petrobras senior executives have already acknowledged their participation in the scheme. In testimony released by a Brazilian federal court, the executive in charge of Petrobras’ refining division confessed that Petrobras accepted kickbacks “from companies to whom Petrobras awarded inflated construction contracts” and “then used the money to bribe politicians through intermediaries to guarantee they would vote in line with the ruling party while enriching themselves.” These illegal acts caused the Company to overstate the value of its assets on Petrobras’ balance sheet. As of March 16, 2015, the corruption probe at Petrobras has already led to 40 indictments on racketeering, bribery and money laundering charges, and Brazilian prosecutors have asked the Supreme Court to investigate 34 sitting politicians, including the speakers of both houses of Congress, for allegedly receiving bribe money.
Jeremy Lieberman, a partner at Pomerantz stated, “The Consolidated Amended Complaint alleges an unprecedented bribery and money laundering scheme that pervaded every corner of Petrobras. It is inconceivable that the Company’s senior executives, Directors and auditor were unaware of the nature of the misrepresentations made to unsuspecting investors. We intend to prosecute this case to fullest extent possible to achieve a substantial recovery for the Class.”
The Pomerantz Firm, with offices in New York, Chicago, San Diego and Florida, is acknowledged as one of the premier firms in the areas of corporate, securities, and antitrust class litigation. Founded by the late Abraham L. Pomerantz, known as the dean of the class action bar, the Pomerantz Firm pioneered the field of securities class actions. Today, more than 70 years later, the Pomerantz Firm continues in the tradition he established, fighting for the rights of the victims of securities fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty, and corporate misconduct. The Firm has recovered numerous multimillion-dollar damages awards on behalf of class members. See www.pomerantzlaw.com.
Robert S. Willoughby