Brazil files charges against former executive of Texas-based company

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazilian prosecutors have filed corruption and money laundering charges against Paul Bragg, the former chief executive officer of Houston-based offshore drilling contractor Vantage Drilling

Federal prosecutors said in a Thursday night statement that Bragg was involved in the payment of $31 million in bribes to a former executive of state-owned oil company Petrobras.

The statement says the bribe was paid to help Vantage win a $1.8 billion contract in 2009 to charter a drill ship to Petrobras.

The charges against Bragg are part of the probe into the corruption scheme at Petrobras and major construction companies through which kickbacks were paid for government projects.

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In the last few years, dozens of politicians and top businessmen have been convicted and jailed.

Calls to Vantage Friday went unanswered.