The head of an award-winning family business jailed, faces corruption charges

The chief executive and third generation member of the family-owned Brazilian conglomerate Odebrecht, has been charged with corruption, money laundering and criminal conspiracy.  

Odebrecht is one of Latin America’s biggest construction and engineering companies, which in has revenues of more than $40 billion. As part of the ongoing investigations, it’s chief executive Marcelo Odebrecht is being held without bail in prison in Brazil.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the charges have detailed “an elaborate use of Swiss bank accounts to hide cash as part of an alleged corruption scheme involving state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro”. The charges relate to a Brazilian government probe into payments related to the state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro.  

In 2010, Odebrecht won arguably the most prestigious global family business award - the IMD - Lombard Odier award. The judges at the time said: “the jury chose the Odebrecht Group due to its shared philosophical approach that guides all of the group's activities and the cultural and ethical values on which such activities are based.”