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Former CEO of Braskem pleads guilty in U.S. bribery case

April 20/2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- A former chief executive of Braskem SA, Brazil�s largest petrochemicals company, pleaded guilty to involvement in what U.S. prosecutors called a 13-year bribery scheme that involved Braskem�s parent, Odebrecht SA, said Reuters.

Jose Carlos Grubisich admitted in Brooklyn, New York, federal court to conspiring to violate anti-bribery provisions of the federal Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and falsify Braskem�s records and financial reports to conceal bribes.

Prosecutors said that between 2002 and 2014, Grubisich and others helped divert USD250 million from Braskem into a secret slush fund, which was held in an Odebrecht business unit that "effectively functioned as a stand-alone bribe department."

Funds were then allegedly used to pay bribes to Brazilian government officials to win and retain business for Braskem, including a large project from Brazil�s state-owned oil company, Petrobras. Prosecutors said some bribes that Grubisich authorized were paid after he left his chief executive position in 2008.

Grubisich, 64, faces up to 10 years in prison on the two conspiracy counts at his scheduled Aug. 5 sentencing, and agreed to forfeit USD2.2 million. He entered his plea before U.S. District Judge Raymond Dearie. Lawyers for Grubisich did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

In December 2016, Braskem and Odebrecht, a construction company, pleaded guilty and agreed to pay USD3.5 billion to settle bribery-related charges brought by U.S., Brazilian and Swiss regulators. Odebrecht changed its name in December to Novonor SA to move past its scandal-ridden history, saying it would be �strictly guided by ethics, integrity and transparency."

As per MRC, Braskem, the largest Brazilian petrochemical company, in early March began the process of restarting production at three polypropylene (PP) plants in La Porte, Freeport, Seadrift, TX, USA, which closed on February 15 from - due to extremely cold weather. It is currently unknown how long it will take to restart these enterprises. The production capacity of PP La Porte is 840,000 tonnes per year, in Freeport - 320,000 tonnes per year, and in Sidrift - 225,000 tonnes per year.

According to ICIS-MRC Price report, on Tuesday, 13 April, 2,000 tonnes of Turkmenbashi refinery"s PP raffia grade were put up for export sale at the State Commodity and Raw Materials Exchange of Turkmenistan. The starting price was set at USD1,775/tonne FOB/FCA in accordance with the results of the March trades. Demand for PP was very weak in the trades, and only one deal was registered for 500 tonnes at the starting price.
Author:Anna Larionova
Tags:PP, PP block copolymer, homopolymer PP, PP random copolymer, propane, propylene, Braskem.
Category:General News
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