Business News | Fri Sep 25, 2015 5:25pm EDT
Bill Gates foundation trust sues Brazil's Petrobras - Fundação Bill Gates processa a Petrobrás
NEW YORK | BY JONATHAN STEMPEL = REUTERS/PAULO WHITAKER
Prosseguindo na escalada crescente de pressões externas sobre a debilitada empresa estatal brasileira, a Fundação Gates de Bill e Melinda Gates decidiu processar a Petrobrás e a PwC Brasil Estatal (filial brasileira da norte-americana PWC) sob acusação de repetida maquiagem tanto nas operações diárias quanto em geral na sua situação financeira, o que lhe possibilitou captar elevadas importâncias de investidores internacionais. Em uma ação conjunta a Fundação Gates e o fundo financeiro WGI Emerging Markets Funds disseram que a conhecida empresa de auditores independentes Price Water House Coopers, com ampla atuação no mercado brasileiro, autentificou inadequadamente extratos de contas financeiras da Petrobras.
A ação judicial explica que "a profundidade e a amplitude da fraude da Petrobras são assombrosos. Segundo admitiu a Petrobras, o esquema de subornos contagiou cerca de 80 bilhões (de dólares) de seus contratos, o que representa um terço de seus ativos totais". Trata-se de um caso de corrupção institucional, conspiração criminosa e fraude em massa em investimentos públicos".
Leia, a seguir, o texto original publicado pela Agência Reuters.
Bill Gates foundation trust sues Brazil's Petrobras
According to a complaint filed late Thursday night in federal court in Manhattan, Petrobras' "pervasive bribery and money laundering scheme" caused the trust and another plaintiff, WGI Emerging Markets Fund LLC, to lose tens of millions of dollars by investing in the company.
"Indeed, the scandal still seems to escalate by the day - as more guilty pleas, more arrests, and more secret bank accounts are uncovered," the complaint said. Petrobras, whose formal name is Petroleo Brasileiro SA, is facing a slew of U.S. class-action litigation claiming that years of corruption, including bribery, inflated the value of more than $98 billion of its stock and bonds.
Created in 2000 by Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) co-founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda, the foundation focuses on improving education and health and reducing poverty. The trust is suing on its own, suggesting it believes it might recover more of its losses on Petrobras' American depositary shares that way. A Brazilian affiliate of Petrobras auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is also a defendant. Petrobras and PwC had no immediate comment. Lawyers for the trust did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Westwood Global Investments LLC, a Boston-based firm, manages investments for the foundation and the WGI fund. The Seattle-based foundation is among the world's largest charitable organizations, with a $41.3 billion endowment.
Petrobras' market value has plunged more than 90 percent from nearly $300 billion seven years ago. It took a $17 billion writedown in April for overvalued assets. Prosecutors have said more than $2 billion of bribes were paid over a decade, mainly to Petrobras executives from construction and engineering companies. The case is WGI Emerging Markets Fund LLC et al v. Petroleo Brasileiro SA et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 15-07568.