Prosecutors in Brazil seek $1.55 billion in corruption case

Brazilian federal prosecutors on Friday said they’re seeking $1.55 billion from six construction and engineering companies for their alleged involvement in a massive kickback scheme at state-run oil firm Petrobras.

The amount included $111 million in compensation for public money prosecutors allege was stolen from Petrobras’ coffers, along with $333 million in fines and $1.11 billion in punitive damages.

The action was the latest aggressive step by federal prosecutors, who say they’ve uncovered the biggest corruption scheme in Brazil’s history. The scandal has seriously damaged the reputation of Petrobras, the nation’s biggest company and long a source of national pride.

Bank agrees to end policy screening out ‘the unbanked’

Santander Bank has agreed to stop a policy that often kept poor and low-income people from opening new checking or savings accounts, the bank and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Friday.

Santander becomes the third bank after Capital One and Citibank to agree to do away with such policies in an effort to accommodate millions of Americans dubbed the “unbanked.” These individuals do not have checking or savings accounts and must rely on expensive alternatives for everyday banking needs.

Caterpillar says it’s staying in Peoria – and expanding

After a two-year study that examined alternative locations, Caterpillar Inc. announced Friday that it will keep its global headquarters in Peoria and modernize its downtown complex in what it called a re-commitment to the city.

The world’s largest maker of construction and mining equipment, with $55 billion in annual sales and revenue, Caterpillar will expand and overhaul its headquarters with a three-tower building as its centerpiece, CEO Doug Oberhelman said.

The company has about 2,400 employees in its main headquarters and 800 others spread around downtown.

— From news service reports