Excerpted from the July 2, 2021 issue of Global Investigations Review
On June 30, 2021, the World Bank’s anti-corruption unit, the Integrity Vice Presidency (INT), announced that it had debarred a Brazilian water consultancy business for overbilling a local government by $4,400 during a development project in 2008.
The company, Companhia Brasileira de Projetos e Empreendimentos or COBRAPE, had already spotted the issue and refunded the amount to the affected Brazilian municipality in Betim, a town in southeastern Brazil. The bank debarred COBRAPE for 11 months, a seemingly tough punishment for a small fraud. It seems, however, that this settlement is part of a larger Bank investigation.
Pierce Atwood litigation partner and former FCPA prosecutor Kathleen Hamann stated that, “whenever INT uncovers a fraud, no matter how small, it naturally raises concerns that require investigation about whether similar issues occurred on other Bank projects.
“Think about the amount of resources it’s going to take to check,” she said. “For the Bank, isn’t it better to have the company do it than INT?” As part of its settlement, COBRAPE has to continue cooperating with the bank’s anti-corruption efforts.”
The complete article by Adam Dobrik can be found in the July 2, 2021 edition of Global Investigations Review.