Oceanografia Chief Placed Under House Arrest in Mexico

Mexico’s top prosecutor’s office said it obtained a house arrest order against Oceanografia SA Chief Executive Officer Amado Yanez after Citigroup Inc. accused his company of fabricating accounts receivables to obtain loans.

A federal judge granted the order that forces Yanez to be held in his residence for as many as 40 days without charges, Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam said today at a news conference in Mexico City. The government has shown Yanez evidence of criminal acts but has not defined possible charges or suspects, Murillo said. Yanez declined to comment on the investigation when contacted today by Bloomberg News.

Mexico took control of Yanez’s oil contractor Feb. 28, placing it under the Finance Ministry’s Asset Transfer and Administration Service, after Citigroup alleged $400 million in loan fraud. The Ciudad del Carmen, Mexico-based company, which provides maintenance and support services for offshore oil projects, had 69 ships -- including drilling ships and tugboats -- and 11,459 employees, according to its website.

The company had plans to generate an additional 4,376 new jobs in the next few years, according to its website.

Yanez, who hasn’t been accused of any wrongdoing, controlled 80 percent of Oceanografia and has run it since 1994, according to regulatory filings. He’s the son of founder Amado Yanez Correa.

Oceanografia’s unaudited financial statements show it was on pace to achieve annual revenue last year of about $1 billion. The company gets most of its sales from state-owned oil company Petroleos Mexicanos.

Oceanografia’s creditors have already seized control of the OSA Goliath, the company’s 180-meter construction ship, claiming it as collateral after missed payments. Bond trustee Norsk Tillitsmann said it hired Pareto Securities AS and Pareto JGO Shipbrokers AS to sell the vessel.