SHARE
Image courtesy of Junius /Wikimedia Commons.

Brazil’s Petrobras fired an unnamed executive Wednesday as part of its probe into alleged corruption.

An anonymous source told Reuters that partial results of the company’s internal investigation into alleged bribery and corruption were presented to its board last Friday.

The investigation has also identified about 15 other employees who may have been involved in kickbacks and money laundering schemes.

The executive is reportedly part of the company’s engineering department and works out of a research center based in Rio de Janeiro.

The other employees are also likely to be fired for their involvement in irregular contracts with suppliers.

Prosecutors claim that state owned Petrobras systematically overpaid contractors, with employees skimming excess cash off the deals and illegally funneling the money into political campaigns.

The total value of the deviated funds has not been disclosed.

The company began its internal investigation in late October following a police investigation that has already landed two executives in jail.

Former downstream chief Paulo Roberto Costa was arrested in April and alleges executives were skimming as much as 3 percent off the price of contracts and giving the money to political organizations.

Costa admitted to taking a $636,000 bribe in connection with the company’s 2006 purchase of a Texas refinery and is currently awaiting trial.

Former engineering director Renato Duque was taken into police custody on Monday along with 17 other employees.

Petrobras said it is working to reimburse “deviated resources.”

Morgan Stanley has warned that the scandal could cause Petrobras to writedown as much as $8.1 billion.

Earlier this week, Petrobras had to delay the release of its third quarter results for a second time after PricewaterhouseCoopers refused to sign off on any accounts attached to transportation executive and politician Sergio Machado.

Third quarter results are now expected to be released on December 12.

The company said it will also release the results of the independent audits as soon as possible.