A U.S. Federal Judge named a lead plaintiff for Petroleo Brasileiro Petrobras SA (ADR)(NYSE:PBR) class-action lawsuit. A British pension fund trustee was named as the lead plaintiff in the case against the company and its top executives. Also, the judge named Pomerantz LLP, a law firm in New York, as the lead counsel. The court has ordered lawyers to contact it on March 6 for further proceedings.

The case

Universities Superannuation Scheme Ltd will represent companies and all those people that purchased U.S.-listed securities in Petroleo. The company was alleged of a corruption scheme following which it lost more than $90 billion of its value in just six months. The case is linked to several charges including bribery, political kickbacks, and price-fixing. In the matter, more than three-dozen executives in Brazil have been indicted. The top prosecutor in the country urged the Supreme Court to initiate investigations against additional 54 people. Most of them are expected to be sitting politicians. Petroleo lawsuit is turning into largest corruption case in Brazil.

Allegations

The lawsuit against Petroleo is going on in the Southern District of New York. It alleges that the company announced false statements and got involved in the multibillion dollar bribery scheme and money laundering since 2006. The company previously stated that it will assess the value of some of its assets due to corruption allegations.

The team of USS

Jed Rakoff, the U.S. District Judge, formulated USS with four final candidates. The candidates were Danske Invest Management Co., Danske Invest Management AS, the State Retirement Systems group, Daniela Freitas Da Silva and the Skagen-Danske group. The State Retirement Systems represents the public-employee funds of Hawaii, Idaho and Ohio. Da Silva is an individual investor. Due to ongoing proceedings, Petroleo intends to divest assets of more than $13.7 billion in the next two years. Previously, it wanted to sell assets valued in a range of $5 billion to $11 billion in between 2013 to 2018.

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