Petrobras CEO Aldemir Bendine. Image courtesy of

Brazil’s Petrobras is filing five joint lawsuits against engineering and construction firms to recover about $424 million tied to a two-year long corruption scheme involving Petrobras contracts.

Petrobras has already filed two suits with Brazil’s Federal Public Prosecutors’ Office for improper conduct against contractors believed to have played a role in improperly inflating and skimming money off company contracts.

The company is pursuing two lawsuits concerning improper payments tied to contracts with Engevix and Mendes Júnior worth a combined $150.13 million, including compensation for material damages, a fine and compensation for moral damages.

Last month Reuters reported that Engevix, an engineering firm, is negotiating a leniency deal with Brazilian officials for its involvement in corruption at Petrobras.

Petrobras said that it will also jointly file three more lawsuits in the coming weeks involving contracts with Camargo Corrêa, OAS and Galvão Engenharia, with a total claim for reimbursement of $274.35 million.

“By monitoring lawsuits already proposed and future ones, the company reinforces its cooperation with the investigations and seeks compensation for the losses caused by the improper payments scheme,” the company said.

Earlier this year Brazilian prosecutors filed five federal lawsuits against six construction companies for $1.55 billion in damages tied to the alleged corruption.

In its 2014 earnings report Petrobras said it has identified a “cartel” of companies and employees who systematically inflated the price of fixed asset acquisitions from 2004 to 2012 and pocketed the extra funds.

The company has put a $2 billion price tag on corruption related expenses but added it was unable to determine the size of individual improper payments.

Brazilian police have uncovered an elaborate corruption scheme tied to Petrobras contracts that has landed three former executive in jail and forced former CEO Maria das Graças Silva Foster to resign. 


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