Mendes Junior exec sentenced in Brazil

04 November 2015, News Wires – A federal judge in Brazil has reportedly sentenced the former vice president of local engineering firm Mendes Junior to 19 years and four months in prison for his role in the massive kickback scheme.

Handcuffs.jailJudge Sergio Moro convicted Sergio Cunha Mendes of corruption, money laundering and racketeering for the payment of 31.5 million reais ($8.3 million) in bribes to obtain contracts with state-run oil company Petrobras, Reuters reported.

The judge also ordered the former executive to return that same amount to Petrobras.

Seven other people, including former Mendes Junior executives, intermediaries and former Petrobras director of refining and supply Paulo Roberto Costa were also convicted, according to the news wire.

Costa, who helped prosecutors unravel Brazil’s largest ever corruption scandal through a plea bargain deal he made after his arrest in March of last year, is under house arrest at his home in Rio de Janeiro.

Money dealer Alberto Youssef received a suspended sentence because he has already accumulated 30 years in prison for previous convictions for his role in the scheme where kickbacks to Petrobras executives and politicians were skimmed off overpriced construction contracts.

Prosecutors say more than $2 billion was lost to Petrobras in bribes paid out by what they call a cartel of engineering firms.

A spokesman for Mendes Junior did not comment.

Mendes Junior is the third top Brazilian construction and engineering company to have executives sentenced in the scandal, following Camargo Correa and OAS.

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