U.S. Opens Probe Into Brazilian Oil Bribery Scheme

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The U.S. Justice Department is investigating a former U.S.-based oil trader for Brazil’s Petrobras already charged in his home country with taking part in a corruption scheme involving commodity companies Vitol SA, Glencore PLC and Trafigura AG, according to people familiar with the matter.

It was the first confirmation that U.S. investigators have joined a new phase of Brazil’s “Car Wash” corruption probe, which has toppled presidents in two countries and sent more than 130 politicians and businessmen to jail across Latin America.

The U.S. Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York is talking to Rodrigo Garcia Berkowitz, a Houston-based oil trader wanted on charges in Brazil for accepting millions of dollars in kickbacks for himself and others, according to one of the people familiar with the matter.

Berkowitz, 39, is cooperating with U.S. authorities in the investigation and could face charges in the United States, one of the people said, although he has not been currently charged.

Read the original article here: reuters.com


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