It’s being described as one of the biggest business scandals in Brazilian history.
International commodities trading firm Trafigura AG is just one of the companies named in a federal court case in Brazil involving bribery and corruption.
With its U.S headquarters in Houston, Texas, it has caught the attention of the U.S Justice Department. The Justice Department is looking into the possibility that money used for payoffs, made its way through U.S banks.
Trafigura is pushing a proposed Coastal Bend project that has many concerned on its economic and environmental impacts. The company wants to build the proposed offshore deepwater port facility, in the Gulf of Mexico, bypassing the port of Corpus Christi and moving outside Texas controlled waters.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office is questioning Rodrigo Garcia Berkowitz, a Houston-based oil trader wanted on charges in Brazil for accepting millions of dollars in kickbacks.
Brazilian prosecutors say, executives of commodities companies like Trafigura made payments to executives at a state-run oil company in Brazil. The Justice Department is involved because it believes much of the kickback money made its way through U.S. banks.
So far, this scandal has sent 130 politicians and businessmen to jail across Latin America.
Berkowitz and nine others were charged in Brazil in December with allegations they funneled business to Trafigura and other trading firms between 2011 and 2014.