SAO PAULO — Brazilian prosecutors have filed corruption and money laundering charges against Paul Bragg, the former chief executive officer of Houston-based offshore drilling contractor Vantage Drilling
Federal prosecutors said in a Thursday night statement that Bragg was involved in the payment of $31 million in bribes to a former executive of state-owned oil company Petrobras.
The statement says the bribe was paid to help Vantage win a $1.8 billion contract in 2009 to charter a drill ship to Petrobras.
The charges against Bragg are part of the probe into the corruption scheme at Petrobras and major construction companies through which kickbacks were paid for government projects.
In the last few years, dozens of politicians and top businessmen have been convicted and jailed.
Calls to Vantage Friday went unanswered.
Earlier this month an international arbitration panel awarded Vantage $622 million for an alleged breach of contract by Petrobras in 2009 contract.
The panel found that Petrobras and its units, Petrobras America Inc and Petrobras Venezuela Investments and Services, breached a drill ship contract with Vantage Deepwater Co.
Petrobras has said the contract was obtained by corruption and it will challenge the panel's decision.
It also said the contract was terminated due to "operational failures by Vantage."