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Petrobras settles U.S. civil claims for graft losses

Brazil’s Petrobras has approved settlements with four U.S. investors related to an ongoing corruption investigation. 

The state-owned company said Monday its board of directors approved settlements to end four individual lawsuits filed in federal court in New York.

The plaintiffs in the suits are the New York City Employees Retirement System, Transamerica Income Shares, Inc., Internationale Kapitalanlagegesellschaft, and Lord Abbett Investment Trust – Lord Abbett Short Duration Income Fund. 

The terms of the settlements are confidential. 

Several investment and retirement funds filed suit against Petrobras for losses allegedly caused by a bribery and kickback scheme tied to Petrobras contracts. 

A government probe of the scandal known as Operation Car Wash has landed several former Petrobras executives and Brazilian politicians in jail. 

The four individual lawsuits were consolidated with twenty-three other individual suits and class actions filed against Petrobras in federal court in New York. 

Including the latest settlements, Petrobras has resolved 19 individual actions from a total of 27 that were consolidated with the class action.

Petrobras said it expects a 2016 provision of $372 million for the settled lawsuits and some others in advanced negotiations with plaintiffs.

The company said $364 million had already been set aside as of September 30. But it said it can’t make a reliable estimate of the outcome or overall costs of the class action.

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