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Prosecutors charge 42 in connection with latest Petrobras laundering case

Brazilian prosecutors have charged 42 people at state-controlled Petróleo Brasileiro SA, its pension fund Petros, as well as engineering and construction companies Odebrecht SA and OAS, with money laundering, corruption and criminal organization.

The charges are in connection to the construction of Petrobras' headquarters in Bahia and are a part of the wider corruption scandal known as Operation Car Wash, according to a statement from the Brazilian Federal Public Prosecutor's Office. Operation Cash Wash is a global money laundering operation dating back to 2003 that involved many of Petrobras executives.

In September, Petrobras reached deals in the U.S. and Brazil to pay more than $850 million to settle investigations in the U.S. related to the company's involvement in the scheme.

In early July, Petrobras' board of directors lifted a ban that was put into place in 2014 that prohibited the company from doing business with Odebrecht due to its involvement in the massive scandal. Petrobras inked the agreement after Odebrecht adopted measures for the "prevention, detection and remediation of acts of fraud and corruption."

Amid the ongoing corruption charges, Petrobras continues to focus on slashing its massive debt with talk of plans for a possible privatization once incoming Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro takes office.