Guilty verdict in Brazil kickback case

Nov. 17, 2012 at 12:08 PM

JERSEY, England, Nov. 17 (UPI) -- A court on Britain's Channel Islands has issued a guilty verdict in a corruption case involving two British companies and the former mayor of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The complex case ended with two financial entities in the British Virgin Islands being found guilty of handling construction kickbacks paid in the 1990s to then-mayor Paulo Maluf.

The two firms will have to pay back about $10.5 million to the Sao Paulo treasury and the Brazilian government to settle the case, which The Independent said has been closely watched in Brazil.

Brazil has been making a concerted effort to clean up civil corruption ahead of the 2014 Summer Olympics and World Cup, the newspaper said.

"This has been a long and complex case and this result clearly demonstrates the commitment of the authorities in Brazil to fight political corruption," said London attorney Lawrence Graham, who represented the Brazilian government in the case.

The two Virgin Islands entities were found guilty of funneling kickbacks to Maluf paid during a major road project in the 1990s. The Independent said allegations include wads of cash being stashed in empty Scotch bottles.

Some of the cash wound up in accounts on the Channel Island of Jersey, which is why the case was heard on the Channel Islands.

The report did not name the two companies involved in the settlement.

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