Authorities involved in a probe of the Petroleo Brasileiro SA corruption scandal have for the first time cited suspected wrongdoing on U.S. soil, Will Connors reports, saying two suspects allegedly discussed a bribe-for-contract deal at a Manhattan hotel.
“It is certainly significant. Having somebody in the U.S., where there was some action that furthered the conspiracy, would be a very good jurisdictional hook” for the U.S. Justice Department, said Bill Michael, a lawyer with Mayer Brown LLP. The Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission opened investigations last year into Petrobras, whose shares are traded in New York.
The suspects apparently had expensive taste. A Chinese shipping executive, Hsin Chi Su, and a Brazilian, Hamylton Padilha, working on behalf of the Houston-based oil-services company Vantage Drilling Co., met at the Four Seasons Hotel in 2008, according to Brazilian prosecutors. They agreed to bribe key Petrobras executives and politicians to successfully win a contract, according to prosecutors.