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Senior oil & gas trader, Brazil-based intermediary charged for bribing Petrobras officials

21 Feb 2023

An indictment was unsealed on Friday (17 February) in the District of Connecticut charging a Connecticut man and a foreign national with conspiracy, multiple counts of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), and money laundering in connection with an alleged scheme to pay bribes to Brazilian officials to win contracts with Brazil’s state-owned and state-controlled energy company, Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. – Petrobras (Petrobras). 

The US Department of Justice said according to court documents, Glenn Oztemel, 64, of Westport, worked as a senior oil and gas trader at two Connecticut-based trading companies (Trading Company #1 and Trading Company #2). 

Eduardo Innecco, 73, a dual Brazilian and Italian citizen, worked as an oil and gas broker and agent for Trading Company #1 and Trading Company #2 in Brazil. 

Between approximately mid-2010 and continuing into 2018, Oztemel, Innecco, and others allegedly paid bribes to Petrobras officials for their assistance in helping Trading Company #1 and Trading Company #2 obtain and retain business with Petrobras, including by providing Oztemel, Innecco, and others with confidential information regarding Petrobras’ fuel oil business. As alleged, Oztemel and his co-conspirators caused Trading Company #1 and Trading Company #2 to make corrupt payments – disguised as purported consulting fees and commissions – to Innecco, knowing that Innecco would pay a portion of those funds to Brazilian officials as bribes. 

To conceal the scheme, Oztemel, Innecco, and their co-conspirators allegedly used coded language to refer to the bribes and communicated using personal email accounts, fictitious names, and encrypted messaging applications. 

Oztemel and Innecco are each charged with conspiracy to violate the FCPA, conspiracy to commit money laundering, three counts of violating the FCPA, and two counts of money laundering. They face up to five years in prison for each of the bribery conspiracy and bribery charges, and up to 20 years in prison for each of the money laundering conspiracy and money laundering charges.

Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Vanessa R. Avery for the District of Connecticut, Assistant Director Luis Quesada of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, and Assistant Director in Charge Donald Alway of the FBI Los Angeles Field Office made the announcement.

The FBI is investigating the case.

Note: An indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


Photo credit: Ekaterina Bolovtsova
Published: 21 February, 2023

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