Brazil judge sentences Decal do Brasil executive to over 10 years

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Decal do Brasil co-founder Mariano Marcondes Ferraz was found guilty on corruption charges and sentenced to over 10 years in prison on Monday for bribing a former executive at state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro to win contracts for Ferraz’s own firm.

Judge Sergio Moro found Ferraz guilty of paying $868,450 to Petrobras’ ex-director of refining and supply, Paulo Roberto Costa, to renew at inflated prices contracts Decal do Brasil had with Petrobras to provide tanking and docking services at the Port of Suape in northeastern Brazil.

Moro ruled that Ferraz could remain free on appeal.

The office of Ferraz’s lawyer said they had no comment. Group Decal, an Italian company that set up Decal do Brasil together with Ferraz, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Decal do Brasil first signed contracts with Petrobras in 2006, according to prosecutors, and by 2012 had signed several other contracts worth a total of 423 million reais ($130.29 million).

Ferraz was arrested in Brazil in late October 2016 but freed on 3 million reais bond about two weeks later.

At the time of his arrest, Ferraz was also working at Swiss trading company Trafigura as a board member and the key executive for business development in Brazil and Africa.

Trafigura was not a party to any contracts between Petrobras and Decal and had no business relationship with Decal.

Reporting by Brad Brooks; Editing by Phil Berlowitz