Brazil: JPMorgan faces oil bribery probe in Brazil

Brazilian authorities are investigating whether JPMorgan Chase & Co played a role in an alleged bribery and money laundering scheme that dated back to 2011 and involved state-run oil company Petrobras, according to documents reviewed by Reuters and two law enforcement sources.

So far, police have focused their attention on purchases of roughly 300,000 barrels of Petrobras fuel oil by JPMorgan in 2011 according to the court documents and sources, who requested anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.

The documents, which were seen by Reuters, include email messages among alleged co-conspirators, witness testimony and bank records. The authorities are working to determine if the alleged bribery continued in subsequent years, the sources added.

The court documents viewed by Reuters include witness testimony from a former Petrobras fuel trader named Rodrigo Berkowitz. In his plea bargain agreement with Brazilian authorities, he refers to two fuel cargoes that were sold to a JPMorgan unit.

The probe, which is in the preliminary stages, is part of a larger investigation by Brazilian authorities who have been examining wrongdoing across the commodity trading industry for years. As one of the world’s largest banks, JPMorgan would represent the biggest target yet in the investigation.

The original full article can be found at reuters.com

(Photo: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo/File Photo)

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