Business against corruption International review Investigation

Brazilian construction firm UTC fined 175 mln USD for corruption

Then-president Lula, with his hand on the wheel, at the groundbreaking for Petrobras’s Abreu e Lima refinery in 2007 (left). A protest in the streets of São Paulo on March 15. More than a million people marched in Brazil’s cities on that day. Source: Bloomberg.

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Brazilian construction engineering company, UTC Engenharia S.A., one of the country’s largest, will pay 574 million reais (175 million U.S. dollars) as a fine for its role in the Petrobras corruption ring.

Brazil’s comptroller general announced on Monday that UTC had signed a leniency agreement in which it admitted the damages it had caused through its corrupt acts and committed to repairing these damages.

The money will be used to pay back damages caused to Petrobras, electrical utility Eletrobras, and the federal rail company, Valec.

In exchange for the fine, UTC will be allowed to compete in Brazil’s public tenders again.

UTC will have 22 years to pay the fine, but should it exceed this time period, it will be fined 3 billion reais (910 million U.S. dollars).

In January, UTC admitted its participation in the Petrobras corruption ring, which saw government officials and business executives artificially inflate the value of public contracts and split the difference between themselves.

The case has since been a major contributor to Brazil’s economic woes and has seen dozens of officials and executives arrested and jailed, including a number of government ministers.