Toshiba Executive Called to Brazil Congress Probe of Petrobras

A Toshiba Corp. official was among several company executives called to testify to a congressional committee investigating Brazil’s largest corruption scandal.

Luis Carlos Borba, president of Toshiba America do Sul Ltda. will be asked to explain contracts that the unit of the Tokyo-based industrial group and electronics maker allegedly signed with a front company owned by convicted money launderer Alberto Youssef, according to a lower house statement Thursday. Executives from Brazilian firms WTorre SA, Toyo Setal and Grupo Schahin were also called.

In police testimony as part of a plea bargain, Youssef said he paid about 800,000 reais ($267,000) at Toshiba’s request to Joao Vaccari Neto, former treasurer of President Dilma Rousseff’s Workers’ Party.

Toshiba wasn’t officially informed of the request and will continue collaborating with authorities in the investigation, the company said in an e-mailed statement to Bloomberg News.

The lower-house committee has a mandate to investigate the kickback scheme that allegedly funneled money from contracts with Petroleo Brasileiro SA to political parties. The lawmakers have heard the testimony of key players in the scandal, including former Petrobras managers, construction company executives, money launderers and political operatives.

Committee members will seek to understand how Petrobras, as the state-controlled oil producer is known, defined basic prices for project contracts, according to a statement on the Congress website. Petrobras accepted project bids from construction companies as long as they were less than 20 percent more expensive than the internally-defined cost for the project, the statement said.

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