US authorities have sentenced two brothers, both dual Panamanian-Italian citizens, to 3 years in jail for laundering $28 million in a bribery and money laundering scheme involving the Brazil-based global construction conglomerate Odebrecht S.A. The defendants will also forfeit over $18.8 million, pay $250,000 as fine, and undergo two years of supervised release.
Both the convicts pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering. They opened offshore bank accounts in the names of shell companies to launder over $28 million in bribe proceeds. The bribes were paid by Odebrecht to the convicts’ close relative who was a high-ranking public official in Panama. The brothers used some of the proceeds for luxury items and other personal expenses.
Note that Odebrecht paid over $700 million in bribes to government officials, public servants, and other stakeholders in various countries, including Panama, to gain and retain business.
Source: US Department of Justice