Minimum time of debarment to discourage corruption: the Operation Car Wash case

  • Rafael Martins Gomes


The current scenario of Brazilian corruption,characterized, among other points, by the cartel actionin Petrobras public tenders for more than a decade,involving the largest construction companies in thecountry in schemes of fraudulent contracts, generatingsignifi cant overbilling in the largest national constructionsites, forges a context in which the time ofdebarment repute needs to be adequately adjusted toprovide an incentive design that allows the continuityof the institution of leniency agreements and, at thesame time, to bring the necessary deterrent effect incorrupt companies. Faced with this reality, this article,based on the theory involved in the Law and Economicsand the Economics of Crime, used an investmentanalysis technique called net present value to quantifythe necessary period of debarment that would leadthe criminal option to not be a rational investmentanymore. As a result, in the concrete case of one of theconstruction companies involved in the cartel that operatedin Petrobras, it is concluded that the attributionof debarment repute penalties of less than one yearwould bring a scenario where the crime of corruptionwould compensate.

Biografia do Autor

Rafael Martins Gomes
Civil servant of the Federal Courtof Accounts with a Bachelor’sDegree in Civil Engineeringfrom the University of Brasília(UnB), a Forensic Expert and apostgraduate professor at IPOG.