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Judge Audits Argentine ex-President Kirchner’s Real Estate Assets

By: Raquel García - @venturaG79 - Dec 15, 2016, 5:14 pm
Cristina Kirchner is facing several investigations into fraud, money laundering, and corruption.
Cristina Kirchner is facing several investigations into fraud, money laundering, and corruption (Diariohoy).

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Federal judge Claudio Bonadio ordered an audit of assets belonging to Los Sauces SA, the real estate firm of Cristina Kirchner, which is currently being investigated for falsification of public documents and illicit enrichment. The audit also pertains to assets in ex-president Nestor Kirchner’s will, which were left to his wife and children.

Bonadio also requested an investigation into Idea SA, owned by Osvaldo Sanfelice, who manages three hotels owned by the former president; the firm the Austral Group, owned by the entrepreneur K Lázaro Báez, and those of the Indalo Group, owned Cristóbal López. Báez and López were the main tenants of the real estate firm Los Sauces.

In the case of Nestor Kirchner’s will, the judge asked that Máximo Kirchner, son of Nestor and Cristina Kirchner, be removed from his position as administrator.

The decision came after months of analyzing information that yielded large transactions and money transfers between family firms, in addition to “a large number of irregularities,” judicial sources told Clarín.

Judge Bonadio’s resolution emphasizes that there is a “great amount” of commercial and/or financial and/or employment relationships between “the Kirchner family who owns Los Sauces and the companies of the Lázaro Baez, Cristóbal López, and Osvaldo Sanfelice “.

Legal sources told Clarin that money transfers were detected for enormous sums, that did not have “commercial justification” and where “the numbers do not add up.” The Kirchners up until 2014 withdrew a sum of AR $20 million (USD $1.253.133), for the “advance payment of dividends.”

Clarín details that the Financial Investigation Unit (Unidad de Investigacion Financiera) reported on various money transfers between Nestor Kirchner’s will, and Los Sauces SA. The UIF has been conducting an investigation into US $4.6 million found in Florencia Kirchner’s (daughter of Nestor and Cristina Kirchner) safe deposit boxes, and have determined that the funds came from transfers made by accounts related to Los Sauces S.A.S. or from accounts related to Nestor Kirchner’s will.

The auditors who will take over the management of the two companies, will be drawn from a list that is supervised by the Supreme Court of Justice of Argentina.

In the case of Nestor Kirchner’s will, the appointed judicial supervisor must administer and also disclose all payments made and received by this company and “Los Sauces” or any of its partners (Cristina Kirchner and their children Máximo and Florencia Kirchner). It will also report as to whether there were any cross payments between the will and the companies of Baez, Lopez and Sanfelice.

For Los Sauces, a different financial controller will be appointed, who will have to inform the Bonadio’s court if there were transfers between Los Sauces and the will, the partners of that firm, and the companies of Baez, López and Sanfelice, details the news site Infobae.

The auditors of the firms of Baez, López, and Santafelice should only give information to Bonadio of the movements between the companies and the two companies of the Kirchner.

Judicial sources explained to Infobae that Bonadio found a complex web of financial entanglement in which the same people appeared in the financial records of a large number of interconnected companies.

The Argentine ex-president is facing investigations into multiple acts of corruption that are progressing simultaneously.

On Wednesday Kirchner was closef to publicly testifying, after Judge Bonadio concluded the investigation into the future dollar house and asked the prosecutor Eduardo Taiano to move the legal proceedings to public trial.

Bonadio prosecuted Kirchner in the case, arguing that the political actions of Cristina Kirchner and other officials of her government led the Central Bank to carry out, between September and November 2015, operations in the dollar futures market “willingly, and intentionally, which caused substantial losses for the state.”

Clarín explains that, due to the congestion, and several appeals of various defendants in the case, the oral trial of Kirchner will probably not begin before the middle or end of 2017.

Given this timeframe, the former president will have no legal impediments that would prevent her from appearing as a candidate for senator from Buenos Aires or Santa Cruz province in the legislative elections next year. She would, however, being prohibited from filing for office if she was convicted following the trial.

Source: Clarín, Infobae.

Raquel García Raquel García

Raquel García is a Venezuelan journalist with over 16 years of experience in digital outlets and radios. She currently lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Follow her @venturaG79.