CEO

Brazilian Prosecutors Charge Former Petrobas CEO With Corruption

Aldemir Bendine, who ran the state-run oil giant and Banco do Brasil, is accused of receiving bribes

Aldemir Bendine, who was arrested and faces corruption charges as part of Brazil’s Car Wash probe, has denied any wrongdoing.
Aldemir Bendine, who was arrested and faces corruption charges as part of Brazil’s Car Wash probe, has denied any wrongdoing. PHOTO: ERALDO PERES/ASSOCIATED PRESS

SÃO PAULO—Prosecutors leading Brazil’s largest-ever corruption probe filed criminal charges on Tuesday against the former chief executive of two of the country’s largest state-run firms.

Aldemir Bendine, who was at the helm of state-run oil giant Petróleo Brasileiro SA between 2015 and 2016, and at state-owned bank Banco do Brasil before then, was charged with corruption, money laundering and obstruction of justice.

Prosecutors say that Mr. Bendine received bribes from construction giant Odebrecht SA. He has been under arrest since late July for his alleged role in the scheme.

Through his lawyer, Mr. Bendine denied wrongdoing. The former CEO has said that he never solicited or received any bribes.

Marcelo Odebrecht, former CEO of Odebrecht, is also in prison after admitting to prosecutors that the firm paid hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes to government officials in many countries to secure contracts in Brazil and elsewhere.

Launched more than three years ago, the so-called Car Wash probe has expanded from a money-laundering investigation into a vast anti-corruption effort, leading to the arrest of several businessmen and powerful politicians in Brazil and other Latin American countries.

Prosecutor Athayde Ribeiro Costa said at a press conference Tuesday that Mr. Bendine requested some $952,000 in payments from Odebrecht just before becoming CEO of Petróleo Brasileiro, also known as Petrobras. The money was paid in three installments, according to prosecutors.

Mr. Bendine also made unsuccessful attempts to bribe Odebrecht while at Banco do Brasil, according to Mr. Costa.

Write to Luciana Magalhaes at Luciana.Magalhaes@wsj.com<mailto:Luciana.Magalhaes@wsj.com>

Categories: CEO, Petrobras

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