BRASILIA, (Reuters) – Brazilian federal prosecutors yesterday charged the former chief executive of U.S. oil services company Vantage Drilling with corruption and money laundering, accusing him of offering $31 million in bribes to public officials.
Federal prosecutors said in a statement that the charges against former CEO Paul Bragg related to irregularities in a 2009 contract worth $1.8 billion to charter a drill ship to state-run oil firm Petroleo Brasiliero SA.
Reuters was unable to locate Bragg or his representatives. Bragg was CEO of the Houston-based company from 2006 to 2016. In a 2015 news release by Vantage, Bragg said there was no evidence of wrongdoing by Vantage or “any personnel associated with Vantage.”
Vantage Drilling did not immediately respond to request for comment. The charges against Bragg were the latest in the sprawling “Operation Car Wash” probe into a cartel scheme through which kickbacks were offered by companies for government projects.
The probe and related investigations have implicated hundreds of government officials and corporate executives.