By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – The oil giant of Brazil, Petrobras, received R$204 million in recovered funds from the Operação Lava Jato (Car Wash Operation) corruption investigations on Friday, November 18th, but the company’s CEO, Pedro Parente, hopes to obtain R$5.5 billion in restoration due to kickbacks and bribes taken by former company executives.
“Petrobras is taking all the necessary measures to be fully compensated for the damages it suffered, including with respect to its reputation,” said CEO Pedro Parente during press conference. “The value of this gesture today is not only in terms of the millions that the company recovers but in terms of showing that nobody is above the law.”
According to Chief Federal Prosecutor Paula Cristina Conti Thá, the Lava Jato investigation has already returned the largest volume of funds ever recovered by a criminal court in Brazil so far. With Friday’s restitution, the oil giant has already received R$661 million including the R$450 million recovered by the Prosecutors’ office between 2015 and 2016. The volume recovered comes from agreements made between former Petrobras executives and companies that have worked with Petrobras, all which have been charged with bribery, kickbacks and corruption, in return for a more lenient sentence.
According to Petrobras officials, there are still another eight actions of administrative improbity being reviewed by the courts and federal prosecutors that could render at least another R$1.6 billion in restitution.
According to prosecutors, more than R$6.4 billion were given to former directors of state-owned oil giant Petrobras by some of the largest construction companies in the country for contract benefits.
The Lava Jato scandal led to some of the largest losses registered in Petrobras’ history and significantly affected Brazil’s GDP results in 2015.