Brazilian prosecutors officially charged Marcelo Odebrecht, CEO of construction firm Odebrecht SA, with corruption on Friday as part of a sweeping probe into oil and gas firms.

Odebrecht was charged with corruption, money laundering and criminal conspiracy, Reuters said.

Prosecutors also allege that Odebrecht SA laundered more than 1 billion reais, or about $300 million, from 2006 to 2014.

The charges are part of a larger probe into alleged corruption at firms with ties to Brazil’s Petrobras.

Brazilian officials have claimed that a cartel of companies conspired to inflate the price of Petrobras contracts and skim of the excess funds and paid bribes to secure deals.

Prosecutors are seeking about $2 billion in damages from Odebrecht, Reuters added.

The CEO was arrested in June after allegations began to surface that his company had participated in the bribery scheme.

Lead prosecutor Carlos Fernando dos Santos Limas told Reuters at the time of the arrest that he has “no doubt” that Odebrecht and other executives were running a corruption “cartel.”

Odebrecht was among 22 people charged with corruption on Friday, including executives from Brazil-based engineering firm Andrade Gutierrez.

Last week, Petrobras confirmed irregularities in the approval of a 2009 deal to provide petroleum products to Brazil-based Braskem, a joint venture between Petrobras and Odebrecht.

Former Petrobras executive Paulo Roberto Costa claimed in court testimony that the 2009 deal resulted in losses for Petrobras.

Braskem has denied any wrongdoing and told Reuters that an internal Petrobras report said “it was not possible … to identify a financial loss caused to Petrobras.”

Prosecutors also confirmed earlier this month that they are investigating former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva for alleged influence peddling on behalf of Odebrecht following his tenure in office.

In a statement to the press, the Lula Foundation said it believes the former president has done nothing wrong.


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