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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Former CEO of Braskem Sentenced to 20 Months in Prison for Foreign Bribery and Securities Law Violations

BROOKLYN, NY – Earlier today, in federal court in Brooklyn, Jose Carlos Grubisich, a Brazilian national and the former Chief Executive Officer of Braskem S.A. (Braskem), a publicly traded Brazilian petrochemical company, was sentenced by United States District Judge Raymond J. Dearie to 20 months in prison for conspiring to divert hundreds of millions of dollars from Braskem into a secret slush fund and to pay bribes to government officials, political parties and others in Brazil to obtain and retain business. In addition, the Court imposed a $1 million fine and Grubisich was ordered to pay $2.2 million in forfeiture.

On April 15, 2021, Grubisich pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and one count of conspiracy to violate the books and records provision of the FCPA and to fail to accurately certify Braskem’s financial reports. 

Jacquelyn M. Kasulis, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Kenneth A. Polite, Jr., Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, and Michael J. Driscoll, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), announced the sentence.

As set forth in court filings and at today’s proceedings, between approximately 2002 and 2014, Grubisich, who served as the CEO and a member of the board of directors of Braskem—as well as in various capacities for Braskem’s parent company, Odebrecht S.A. (Odebrecht)—engaged in a scheme to bribe Brazilian government officials in violation of the FCPA.  As part of the scheme, Grubisich and his co-conspirators diverted approximately $250 million from Braskem into a secret slush fund, which Grubisich and others generated through fraudulent contracts and offshore shell companies secretly controlled by Braskem. 

In December 2016, Braskem and Odebrecht each pleaded guilty in the Eastern District of New York to separate one-count criminal informations charging them with conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA.  Braskem also resolved related civil proceedings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on the same day.

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Business and Securities Fraud Section.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Julia Nestor and Alixandra Smith of the Eastern District of New York are in charge of the prosecution with Co-Principal Deputy Chief Lorinda Laryea and Trial Attorney Leila Babaeva of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura D. Mantell of the Asset Recovery Section of the Office’s Criminal Division is handling forfeiture matters.  The FBI’s International Corruption squad in New York is investigating the case. 

The FBI’s International Corruption squad in New York investigated the case. The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs provided substantial assistance. The department also expresses its appreciation for the assistance provided by the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, Ministério Público Federal and the Departamento de Polícia Federal in Brazil, the Office of the Attorney General and the Federal Office of Justice in Switzerland, and the governments of Portugal, Andorra, the United Kingdom, and Panama.

The Defendant

JOSE CARLOS GRUBISICH
Age:  64
Sao Paulo, Brazil                 

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 19-CR-102 (RJD)

Topic(s): 
Foreign Corruption
Contact: 
John Marzulli United States Attorney's Office (718) 254-6323
Updated October 12, 2021