Former Petrobras executive Nestor Cervoso. Image courtesy of Senado Federal/Flickr.

Former Petrobras executive Nestor Cerveró was sentenced to over 12 years in prison on Monday for allegedly paying a bribe to the speaker of Brazil’s lower congressional house.

According to Reuters, Cerveró has been sentenced to 12 years and three months in prison for money laundering and corruption charges tied to a bribe he allegedly paid lower house speaker Eduardo Cunha.

Prosecutors alleged that Cerveró, along with consultant Julio Camargo and lobbyist Fernando Soares, organized bribes from Korea-based shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries in exchange for securing two drillship contracts.

The contracts were for the Petrobras 10000 and the Vitoria 10000 drillships.

Cerveró served as Petrobras’ international operations chief before being fired in 2014.

He was arrested in January of this year for his alleged role in sharing up to $15 million in kickbacks from Samsung Heavy Industries.

He was also charged with racketeering, bribery and money laundering charges in February.

Federal judge Sergio Moro reduced Camargo’s 14 year sentence to community service and a requirement that he report to police two times a month after he collaborated with prosecutors.

In plea bargain testimony, Camargo claimed that lower house speaker Eduardo Cunha asked him for a $5 million bribe.

Cunha resigned from the ruling coalition of Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff last month after accusing the president’s administration of framing him for participating in corruption at Petrobras.

Soares was sentenced to about 16 years in jail after prosecutors accused him of moving bribe payments to Cunha’s Brazilian Democratic Movement Party.

No executives from Samsung Heavy Industries were charged.

The company has not responded to requests for cements, Reuters added.

The sentence is the second that Cerveró has received for his alleged role in corruption at state-owned Petrobras.

In May, Cerveró was sentenced to five years in prison for laundering funds he had stolen from Petrobras through a front company.

Some of the funds were used to buy a luxury apartment in Rio de Janeiro, Reuters said.


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