A U.S. federal judge has ordered Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht to pay $2.6 billion in fines and damages stemming from a complex bribery and money laundering case. The total is the result of lengthy negotiations between authorities in three countries and Odebrecht executives, and it is unlikely to be appealed. The ruling was handed down Monday by a federal judge in New York and confirmed by Brazil’s government Tuesday. U.S.-based units of Odebrecht and its petrochemicals arm Braskem pled guilty to the corruption charges in December. Authorities in the U.S., Brazil, and Switzerland originally settled on a total of $4.5 billion in fines and damages, but the companies were able to reduce that to $2.6 billion. Of the total, $2.4 billion will be paid to Brazil and the rest to Switzerland and the U.S. The settlement is part of a sweeping probe into bribery, conspiracy, and money laundering charges leveled against Odebrecht, a Brazilian-based company with offices and projects in more than a dozen other countries, including the U.S. and Switzerland. In Brazil, a number of top Odebrecht executives are currently in prison. Recent testimonies by the executives have implicated dozens of Brazilian politicians in the corruption schemes.
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