Former Brazil presidents Dilma Rousseff and Luis Inacio Lula da Silva on Tuesday were charged for running a criminal organisation to divert funds from the country’s oil company Petrobras, Reuters reported. Eight other members of the Workers Party were also charged with corruption, cartel formation and money laundering.

Lula da Silva was accused of heading the organisation that skimmed funds from Petrobras. The scheme had allegedly begun in 2002 after Lula da Silva won the election and continued till his successor Rousseff was impeached in 2016, BBC reported.

Brazil top prosecutor Rodrigo Janot has alleged that the Workers Party had received around $480 million (more than Rs 3,081 crore) in bribes from Petrobras and the Brazilian National Development Bank, BBC reported. In a statement, the party said the charges made by Janot were baseless and were used to divert attention from other investigations.

The Operation Car Wash had uncovered a cartel of companies that paid bribes to officials to secure Petrobras contracts.

Lula da Silva has been appealing against a conviction in a corruption case that would bar him from running for president in 2018. He faces probe in four other corruption trials. Rousseff was impeached in 2016 for breaking budgetary laws. These were the first criminal charges to be levelled against her.