Court fines ex-Petrobras officials more than $80m over purchase of Texas refinery

Brazil’s Court of Accounts has fined two former officials of scandal-plagued state oil firm Petrobras more than $80m in total for their role in the purchase of a refinery in the US, according to Reuters.

Sergio Gabrielli and Nestor Cervero were found guilty of hurting the nation’s accounts in the deal to buy 50% of the Pasadena, Texas, refinery from Belgian firm Astra Oil in 2006.

A clause of the deal meant that in 2008 Petrobras had to buy the remaining 50% stake in the event of a dispute between partners. In the end Petrobras ended up paying $1.2bn, a huge overvaluation.

Petrobras has been roiled for more than two years by a massive bribes-for-inflated-contracts corruption scheme that has seen many of its executives accused and convicted.

So big was the scandal that it has dragged down executives of major contractor firms and many senior politicians accused of turning a blind eye or using their influence in return for kickbacks.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.
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