Framatome, SNC Lavalin, Rovsing Dynamics charged by prosecutors with corruption at Brazil's Eletronuclear

25 Aug 2020 1:08 pm by Caio Rinaldi

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Brazilian federal prosecutors filed charges against the German subsidiary of French nuclear company Framatome, Canadian engineering services provider SNC Lavalin and Danish tech provider Rovsing Dynamics for their alleged involvement in a corruption scheme at the Brazilian state-owned nuclear company Eletronuclear.

The charges, made Friday, were split into five public civil actions for administrative misconduct. The subsidiary of Japanese conglomerate Marubeni in Brazil and 18 people are among the targets, including Eletronuclear’s former president, Othon Pinheiro, and his daughter, Ana Cristina da Silva Toniolo, according to a statement.

“Considering the size and complexity of the criminal organization's actions led by the former president of the state-owned company, we opted to split the case into five actions, each relating to a contract,” the prosecutors of the long-running Operation Car Wash task force said in a statement.

On June 25, the 7th Federal Court in Rio de Janeiro granted the prosecutors’ request and issued 12 warrants for temporary arrest and 17 search-and-seizure warrants based on revelations by two whistleblowers that pointed to “undue payments in at least six Eletronuclear contracts.”

According to the prosecutors, the targets diverted money from Eletronuclear “by fictitiously subcontracting” service and offshore companies, which would distribute the amounts back among the participants of the scheme.

According to prosecutors, Framatome and its representative in Brazil caused losses of 12.2 million reais ($2.2 million) in the scheme. The damage derived from the contract with SNC Lavalin, for instance, reached 659,794 reais and the losses in contracts with Rovsing Dynamics and Marubeni Brasil totaled a little over 50,000 reais.

Brazilian IT company Aceco TI was accused of causing losses of 2.3 million reais to the government, while service provider Allen Rio Serviços and consulting firm BJS were charged for their involvement in contracts that led Eletronuclear to losses of 1.5 million reais. The companies’ executives are also targeted by the prosecutors.

In all five charges, the Brazilian federal prosecutors asked that the targets fully pay back the losses caused to Eletronuclear, as well as pay fines up to three times the value paid in bribes to the public agents involved in the case.

The prosecutors also said the companies should be banned from having contracts with public entities for 10 years, and for the payment of at least two times the amount obtained from the related illicit acts, as compensation for moral damages.

The Federal Prosecutors’ Office in Rio de Janeiro didn't respond to MLex’s request for comment on the types of services each of the charged companies was hired for.

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