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US authorities arrest Brazilian ex-CEO in bribery case

NEW YORK — Authorities say the former CEO of Brazilian petrochemical company Braskem SA has been arrested on U.S. corruption charges.

Federal prosecutors in New York City said José Carlos Grubisich was taken into custody Wednesday at Kennedy Airport.

An email seeking comment was sent to Grubisich’s lawyer.

Court papers accuse Grubisich of joining a conspiracy to divert about $250 million into a slush fund that was used to bribe Brazilian officials.

The papers say Braskem paid more than $16 million in bribes while seeking to build a facility in Brazil. They say the same alleged bribe got Braskem price breaks from a state-owned oil company.

In 2016, Braskem and a construction company agreed to pay $3.5 billion to U.S., Brazilian and Swiss authorities to settle bribery allegations.

The Associated Press