RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazilian prosecutors said Thursday that a kickback scheme at state-run oil company Petrobras involved at least $800 million in bribes and other illegal funds. They expect that figure to grow as they keep investigating.
Federal prosecutors said they've recovered about $170 million involved in the scheme, that over 230 businesses of all sizes are being investigated and that 86 people are facing charges so far.
Several top executives from Brazil's biggest construction and engineering firms remain jailed as the investigation continues, with a judge saying they're a flight risk and cannot be freed.
The accounting of the investigation was made public on a special website prosecutors created for the public to accompany their work. It was the first time they have said how much money they think was involved in bribes and kickbacks in the case, which they call the largest known corruption scheme in Brazil's modern history.
Prosecutors allege that firms bribed former Petrobras executives to win inflated contracts, and that some of the money was then funneled back to the ruling Workers' Party campaign coffers and those of its allies.
The attorney general has said that he expects to bring charges against dozens of congressmen and other politicians in February for their alleged roles.
Meanwhile, a judge ordered that the bank accounts of a former president of Petrobras be made available to investigators.
Judge Roseli Nalin accepted the request made last month by prosecutors for access to the bank accounts of Jose Sergio Gabrielli, seven other former Petrobras officials and executives of Andrade Gutierrez, Brazil's second-largest construction firm. Nalin's ruling was made public Wednesday.
A Brazilian judge has ordered that the bank accounts of a former president of Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil company, be made available to prosecutors investigating allegations of overbilling.
Judge Roseli Nalin accepted the request made last month by prosecutors for access to the bank accounts of Jose Sergio Gabrielli, seven other former Petrobras officials and executives of construction company Andrade Gutierrez.
Nalin's ruling was made public Wednesday.
All face charges of administrative misconduct centering on allegations of overbilling totaling some $13 million on four Petrobras contracts with the builder from 2005-2010.
These charges are related to the widening kickback-corruption scandal that has engulfed Petrobras for months.