Brazil's Iesa banned for two years over corruption

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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Energy services firm Iesa has been banned for two years from bidding for public contracts in Brazil for its role in the country's biggest ever corruption scandal.

The São Paulo-based supplier was found guilty of forming a cartel that rigged contracts with state-run oil company Petrobras, according to a statement by the ministry for transparency, monitoring and control.

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"The company reached prior agreements with other competitors over who would win [contracts] and who would submit proposals to provide apparent legitimacy," the ministry said.

It added that Iesa also used a phantom contract to pay bribes to former Petrobras director Paulo Roberto Costa.

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Iesa is focused on engineering, procurement and construction contracts in the oil and gas, thermoelectric and petrochemical sectors, according to information on the company's website.

The ministry said the ban followed a 12-month investigation that used information from federal courts, competition authorities and Petrobras, among other sources.

The investigation was part of the federal police's Lava Jato probe, which has ensnared scores of former Petrobras directors, construction firm executives and politicians since being launched in March 2014.

The scandal is blamed for tipping Brazil into a severe recession and fomenting a political crisis that led to last week's impeachment of president Dilma Rousseff.

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