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Argentine judge okays inspection of three years of President Macri's financial disclosure statements

Argentine Federal Judge Sebastián Casanello has ordered that President Mauricio Macri’s sworn financial disclosure statements from 2013 to 2015 be analyzed in order to determine whether Macri “maliciously omitted information” or if there is missing data in his patrimony records.

Knowingly filing false financial disclosures by a public official, or a candidates to said office, is a felony in Argentina.

Judge Casanello approved a request by prosecutor Federico Delgado, who on June 8 recommended a more comprehensive examination into Macri’s sworn statements from his last three years as mayor of Buenos Aires (as Macri was gearing up for his presidential run in 2015).

The analysis will be conducted by experts at the University of Buenos Aires School of Social Sciences

The request was filed following revelations made public by the Panama Papers and Open Corporates scandals in April that Macri was a director of at least two offshore shell companies, held a separate Merrill Lynch investment account in the Bahamas, and was linked through immediate family members (particularly his father, contractor Francisco Macri) to up to a dozen offshore firms.

Macri’s bother, Gianfranco, alone owns eight shell companies in Panama. According to economist Ezequiel Orlando, who has done research on the Macris’ links to offshore companies, five out of the other seven companies in which Gianfranco Macri is a board member were established in December 12, 2007, only two days after Mauricio Macri became the mayor of Buenos Aires.

None had been declared by Macri when he ran for president as Argentine law requires; he has claimed he “didn't realize” he had them.

At: http://buenosairesherald.com/article/217086/judge-okays-inspection-into-president-macris-sworn-statements-

Macri, of course, is doing his best to stonewall the Panama Papers investigation - even using the Foreign Minister to do so. http://www.democraticunderground.com/110851562

This, btw, is the same foreign minister (Susana Malcorra) who he's pushing to become the next UN Secretary General.

Macri names son of dictatorship's chief economist, ISDS litigant against Argentina, to patent office

Argentine President Mauricio Macri replaced the heads of the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI), the office responsible for protecting industrial patents, with two corporate lawyers whose firm represented numerous multinationals suing Argentina over the past decade.

The two appointees, Dámaso Pardo and José Alfredo Martínez de Hoz, jr, were chosen by decree to replace Mario Aramburu and Mario Díaz, who had served as INPI director and assistant director, respectively, since 2002.

Pardo and Martínez de Hoz are partners in the Buenos Aires corporate law firm of Pérez Alati, Grondona, Benites Arntsen & Martínez de Hoz, which advises transnational corporations as to Argentine intellectual property law and have represented numerous multinationals suing Argentina in front of the World Bank's International Center for Settlement of Investment (ICSID). The ICSID is the world's preeminent investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) tribunal, whose rulings often override national sovereignty and whose secret inclusion in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has created an international uproar against the agreement.

Martínez de Hoz is also the son of the late José Alfredo Martínez de Hoz, whose tenure as Economy Minister from 1976 to 1981 was marked by free trade policies that flooded Argentina with imports and reduced industrial output by 20%, wage freezes that reduced real pay by 40%, and by financial deregulation that led to $30 billion in bad debts by 1981 as well as the country's ruinous debt crisis throughout the 1980s.

His appointment was also controversial because he in particular represented multinationals in patent infringement lawsuits against Argentine firms - particularly the pharmaceutical industry. The South American Patent Observatory, a leading continental watchdog against patent lawsuits by multinationals thought to be filed in bad faith in order to intimidate local firms, called Martínez de Hoz's designation "incompatible with his public duties" for this reason.

Their appointment is in keeping with a Macri administration preference for appointing corporate lobbyists to oversee the very agencies charged with regulating their respective industries.

Some prominent examples include:

* The Finance Ministry, headed by a JP Morgan private banker (Alfonso Prat-Gay) closely linked to billion-dollar tax evasion case involving the late cement baroness Amalia Lacroze de Fortabat as her former accountant.

* The Central Bank, headed by the official (Federico Strurzenegger) who still faces fraud charges stemming from the 2001 Megaswap - which added over $38 billion to the public debt and yielded participating banks hefty commissions.

* The head of the National Bank (Carlos Melconian) who in 2001 had dropped investigations into a $15 billion bailout from 1982 and later joined vulture funds in their recent bid for 1,600% payouts on old defaulted bonds (which Macri awarded them in February).

* The Energy Ministry, whose head (Juan José Aranguren) is now facing charges of using his office to benefit his former employer, Shell Argentina, with expensive natural gas imports from a Chilean subsidiary.

* And the Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF), the federal money laundering abatement bureau, whose new appointees, Mariano Federici and María Eugenia Talerico, previously defended banks charged with wrongdoing by the UIF - notably, in Talerico's case, HSBC Argentina, which was revealed by the 2014 SwissLeaks scandal to be at the center of a massive tax evasion scheme on behalf of wealthy Argentines.

The bank’s CEO, Gabriel Martino, and its director, Miguel Ángel Estévez, had their banking license revoked by the UIF in 2015 under Sbatella; but returned to their posts in May thanks to a reversal of the decision by the UIF's current leadership.

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&u=http://www.pagina12.com.ar/diario/economia/2-302830-2016-06-28.html&prev=search


Like father...

Like son.[/center]

Argentine Government delays information requests on Macri's offshore companies.

Requests for information issued by Judge Sebastián Casanello to Panama and Uruguay as part of the investigation into President Mauricio Macri’s offshore financial activities – leaked in April by the Panama Papers scandal - could take longer than expected as the Foreign Ministry has said that the “description of the attributed events” was not “clear enough” in order to continue with the process.

Judge Casanello had sent legal requests to Panama and Uruguay for fresh information over Macri’s offshore accounts connected to the Foxchase Trading SA company, which was created in 2012.

Macri was among the tens of thousands of rich and powerful people named in the leak of four decades worth of documents from Mossack Fonseca, a corporate law firm based in Panama which specializes in setting up offshore companies in tax havens.

The Panama Papers revealed that Macri was listed as director of Fleg Trading Ltd between 1998 and 2009, and of Kagemusha S.A. since 1981; both shell companies had been opened by his father, contractor Francisco Macri, who has been linked through other family members to a dozen such firms.

Opposition lawmakers demanded on Monday that President Macri explain his role at the offshore companies. The president faces now an investigation into whether he maliciously omitted his links to these firms - as well as to a Merrill Lynch account in the Bahamas he “didn't realize” he had - in his sworn financial disclosure statements, a felony in Argentina.

At: http://buenosairesherald.com/article/217022/govt-delays-information-requests-on-macris-offshore-companies-

As corruption probe grows in Argentina, Macri allies feel the heat.

A judicial probe of possible corruption during Argentina’s previous administration is also threatening the new one as some of President Mauricio Macri’s own allies face investigation.

Macri took office in December from his leftist predecessor, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, pledging to root out corruption as well as to implement market-friendly economic reforms. Investigations have already led to the arrest of a Kirchner ally (contractor Lázaro Báez) and landed the former president in court for questioning. But now questions are also being asked of some close to Macri.

IECSA, a construction firm run by his cousin Ángelo Calcaterra and part of the Macri family empire, is one of nearly 100 companies in Argentina being investigated as part of Brazil’s growing “Operation Car Wash” scandal. The Car Wash probe has focused on kickbacks and other irregularities in bloated contracts at Brazilian state oil giant Petrobras.

Macri has also come under fire awarding IECSA a number of large public contracts and for failing to disclose numerous offshore accounts uncovered in April by the Panama Papers scandal.

The Macri administration, which defunded the federal anti-money laundering bureau (UIF) and appointed a hard-line supporter (Laura Alonso) as head of the Anti-Corruption Office (OA), is instead pushing to investigate corruption under Kirchner. They have encouraged whistle blowers to come forward; but not so in the case of JP Morgan whistle blower Hernán Arbizu, who sought extradition to the United States on June 16 in order to testify in a massive tax evasion case involving JP Morgan and among others Macri's Finance Minister, Alfonso Prat-Gay.

K money and M money

Argentine media spent considerable time airing corruption allegations during President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner's second term (2011-15). The Kirchners' business relationship with contractor Lázaro Báez was the centerpiece of the much publicized “K Money Trail,” a term coined by anchorman Jorge Lanata during his stint at the TN cable news channel owned by the Clarín Media Group - which was at odds with Kirchner over a bill signed in 2009 that would have limited their near-monopoly over Argentine media.

Prosecutors are probing a complex web of cases linked to Báez. He was arrested in April for questioning after some $5 million was allegedly deposited in his son’s bank account, and news on June 14 that the Kirchner-era official who approved bidding for federal public works, José López, attempted to hide $9 million on church grounds added a dramatic new twist to the case.

Associates of Macri, including IECSA, also have Báez connections however - notably a partnership IECSA formed in recent years with Báez’s Austral Construction in a failed attempt to collude for public works bids. IECSA also had numerous large bids approved by López, and in fact grew to become Argentina's third largest contractor (Austral Construction was, despite Báez's relationship to the Kirchners, only the 36th largest). Also caught in the Báez probe is a Macri Federal Intelligence official, Silvia Majdalani, who is now being investigated for money laundering.

Macri’s cousin, Ángelo Calcaterra, attempted to sell his IECSA shares following these revelations.

The dollar futures case, based on Macri's allegation that his predecessor's Central Bank authorities sold $17 billion of dollar future contracts at below market rates during her last year in power, has similarly backfired.

The case began losing momentum when Judge Claudio Bonadío, a close Macri ally, summoned former Economy Minister Axel Kicillof in April only to have Kicillof inform him that the Argentine Central Bank cannot offer dollar futures contracts in New York (as Macri suggested they do) due to both Central Bank and SEC rules. The case imploded politically when it was revealed that numerous Macri officials and associates - including Macri's Central Bank President, Federico Sturzenegger, and Macri's own father - bought dollar futures worth millions, and themselves profited (at a cost of $4 billion to the Central Bank) when Macri ordered the peso devalued by 40% on December 17.

A similar case of conflict of interest has ensnared Energy Minister Juan José Aranguren, whose offices were raided on June 9 on charges that his decisions to deregulate household gas rates and to import natural gas from Chile - rather than from Bolivia, which is 56% cheaper - were tailored to benefit his former employer, Shell Argentina. Aranguren was CEO of Shell Argentina from 2003 to 2015, and according to his own financial disclosure statement still holds shares worth $1.1 million.

Laura Alonso, the Macri loyalist whose job it is to investigate current officials implicated in corruption (a total of 22), calls the cases “complicated.” Her alleged stonewalling led Kirchnerist lawmakers to file a complaint against her on June 9 for complicity.

The cases against Kirchner-era officials meanwhile continue to move forward in the courts, particularly Judge Bonadío's. Yet, there are political risks. “They went looking for the K money road,” Cristina Kirchner told a crowd of supporters last April; “but they found the M money road instead.”

At: http://www.buenosairesherald.com/article/214069/as-corruption-probe-grows-macri-allies-feel-the-heat

And: http://buenosairesherald.com/article/215893/laura-alonso%E2%80%99s-office-investigating-other-21-officials-%E2%80%94-but-no-sanctions-yet

Buenos Aires man who shot two progressive women in March ID'd as Macri supporter, and hiding in U.S.

The man who fired shots at a gathering of members of the center-left Nuevo Encuentro party in midtown Buenos Aires on the evening of March 5, injuring two women (including one carrying a toddler), has been identified as Alejandro Fabián Cidero.

Records show Cidero contributed to President Mauricio Macri's right-wing PRO campaign last year, and that he entered the United States within days of the incident.

The sniper lived in an apartment high-rise overlooking the Nuevo Encuentro office opened that evening. PRO records from the 2015 campaign show that he donated 50 pesos ($5 at the time), and he was known by acquaintances to be especially hostile toward Kirchnerists - supporters of the center-left FpV, to which the smaller Nuevo Encuentro party is an ally.

Daiana Soto, 19, and Florencia Girotti, 30, were both shot in the arm; Soto was carrying her little sister, a toddler, in the same arm that was shot by the .32 caliber bullet.

The leader of the Nuevo Encuentro party, Martín Sabbatella, blamed the attacks at the time on a "political context in which opponents (of the right-wing Macri administration) have been vilified" and called on President Macri to "emphatically repudiate these incidents of political violence, which by sheer luck didn't kill anybody."

Macri later did so, and Security Minister Patricia Bullrich and Interior Minister Rogelio Frigerio met with Sabbatella to discuss the case. Its handling by the City of Buenos Aires Metropolitan Police - a force created by Macri and frequently used for warrantless searches, wiretapping, and other politically-motivated activities - was so lethargic that attorneys representing the injured women had the investigation taken over by the National Gendarmerie.

Gendarmerie investigators were able to ascertain the identity of the sniper by cross-referencing serial numbers taken from the bullets with RENAR agency data on gun owners residing in the Torres Jardín apartment complex. Cidero, according to customs records, had by then fled to the United States.

The Macri administration has not commented further on the case, and no international arrest warrants have as yet been issued.

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&u=http://www.noticiasurbanas.com.ar/noticias/el-que-tiro-en-marzo-contra-militantes-de-ne-aportaba-al-pro/&prev=search

Argentina's Macri awards top public works contract to consortium led by his family firm, IECSA.

Facing a deepening recession, Argentine President Mauricio Macri made an apparent u-turn on fiscal austerity and decreed an additional 98 billion pesos ($7 billion) in public works over the next four years above previously budgeted figures.

While welcomed by many economists, the announcement was controversial in that 45 billion pesos ($3 billion) of this new public works spending will go toward one project: the conversion of the Buenos Aires' Sarmiento commuter rail line into an underground line.

The controversy was heightened by news that the Sarmiento underground project was awarded to a consortium led by IECSA, the public contractor controlled by his own family and directed by his cousin Ángelo Calcaterra.

The consortium involved in the project also includes the Italian construction firm Ghella and Brazil's Odebrecht, whose CEO - Marcelo Odebrecht - was sentenced in March to a 19-year prison term for paying over $30 million in bribes to executives at the oil giant Petrobras to secure contracts.

Macri had made allegations of corruption in public contracts during his predecessor's tenure a central campaign theme last year. Once it was revealed that the contractor most closely associated with former Presidents Néstor and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Lázaro Báez, had in fact shared a partnership with IECSA, Calcaterra sought to disassociate himself from the firm by selling his shares - a move blocked by the courts while investigations are still pending.

Calcaterra was given nominal control of IECSA by President Macri's father, Francisco Macri, when the younger Macri ran for Mayor of Buenos Aires in 2007. This transfer was effected to avoid the appearance of conflict of interest since IECSA is a leading municipal contractor as well.

IECSA's public contracts portfolio increased dramatically under Mayor Macri to $1.8 billion, making his cousin Argentina's third largest public contractor. Macri had already come under fire shortly after taking office six months ago by awarding IECSA a 2.5 billion peso ($170 million) contract to build a new natural gas pipeline in Córdoba Province.

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&u=http://www.minutouno.com/notas/1494028-macri-podria-beneficiar-su-primo-calcaterra-una-obra-millonaria-del-sarmiento&prev=search

Argentina's Macri quietly drops austerity with $5 bn for social security and $7 bn for public works.

Argentine Finance Minister Alfonso Prat-Gay announced that the federal government will be easing the deep budget cuts enacted since President Mauricio Macri took office six months ago, with decrees opening the door for more spending on social security and public works.

The moves come after the Central Bank cut interest rates and eased its contractionary monetary policy somewhat, and seem to confirm that Macri's right-wing economic cabinet is wary of causing a sustained recession through continued austerity. Monthly budget figures for May, released on Tuesday, show that the federal deficit for that month grew to 24 billion pesos ($1.7 billion) - four times as much as a year earlier.

Following months of spending cuts in key areas such as infrastructure, a decree issued yesterday allocated close to 100 billion pesos ($7 billion) for public works over the next four years. Although only a small fraction of those funds will be used this year, the decree also anticipates that more funds would be distributed over the coming months.

The paralysis in public works has been one of the main factors of the current economic slowdown, with an estimated 155,000 jobs lost since Macri took office and a loss in average purchasing power of at least 11%. The recession has been exacerbated by a rise in inflation rates from 20% to 45% since Macri decreed a 40% devaluation in December.

The Macri administration had already begun reversing course on austerity in April, when it announced a 30 billion-peso ($2 billion) increase in social spending in response to a Catholic University report that the number of poor had risen by at least two million in just four months. Yesterday's decree provides for an additional 76 billion pesos ($5.3 billion) for social security this year, which includes these commitments as well as a significant raise in benefits for high-contribution seniors.

Capital spending - mainly infrastructure construction and maintenance - also rose sharply in May, though it still remained below 2015 levels in real terms. A 25% nominal increase over the same time last year still left capital spending 13% less than a year earlier; but it was a marked reversal from April, when a 6% nominal cut translated into a 33% cut in real terms. Sales declines for building supplies such as asphalt (48.8%), concrete (27.6%), rebar (26%), and cinder blocks (25.7%) were the steepest since the depths of the 2002 crisis.

The May budget figures were thus the first to show an annual increase in deficit spending so far in 2016. “In nominal terms, we now have roughly the same deficit as in the first five months of 2015: 70 billion pesos ($5 billion); but adjusting for inflation it is narrowing,” Martín Polo, chief economist at Analytica consultants, told the Herald.

Polo believes that over the coming months fiscal policy will become even more expansive. “I expect them to bet on boosting demand and boosting the construction sector in order to jump-start the economy. If as a result they get the economy growing again, then it will not be a problem because the deficit should be compared to GDP. If the recovery doesn’t happen, then there will reasons to worry,” Polo said.

Marina dal Poggetto at Bein & Associates agreed. “I would say this is something we were already seeing over the last few weeks: the government is making a u-turn.”

At: http://buenosairesherald.com/article/216669/gov%E2%80%99t-eases-austerity-as-spending-recovers

Poverty rate in Greater Buenos Aires jumps from 22% to 35.5% during Macri's first 5 months in office

Data presented by the University of Buenos Aires reveals that income poverty in the Buenos Aires metropolitan area - home to one in three Argentines - rose from 22% in December 2015 to 35.5% in April 2016. The incidence of extreme poverty - those among the poor whose income can't cover basic nutritional needs - rose from 5.9% to 7.7%.

The study was conducted by the Gino Germani Institute and analyzed by the Center for Public Opinion and Social Studies (COPES) at the University of Buenos Aires School of Social Science. It surveyed 1,228 households in the City of Buenos Aires and twenty counties in surburban Buenos Aires (part of Buenos Aires Province).

The total number of poor by income, considering a metro area population of 13.8 million, was estimated to have risen from 3.0 million in December to 4.9 million in May - a 60% increase in five months. The 13.5-point increase in the poverty rate was similar to the 14.3-point jump recorded between September 2001 and April 2002; the 60% jump in the number of poor, in turn, was the sharpest since the currency collapse and hyperinflation crisis in 1989.

The report pointed to the rapid increase in food, utility, and public transport prices since the right-wing Mauricio Macri administration devalued the peso by 40% in December and made deep cuts to both utility subsidies and export taxes - thus incentivizing the agricultural sector to depress the domestic market and forcing rates and fares to rise by 300%.

Consistent with past trends, poverty in the suburban counties remained higher, and rose faster, than in the City of Buenos Aires. The twenty metro area counties surveyed saw income poverty rise from 23.8% in December 2015 to 38.2% in April 2016 - a 14.4-point increase. Buenos Aires proper, meanwhile, saw poverty rise by 9.2 points, from 16% to 25.2%.

The shift thus broke a trend throughout the Kirchner era in which the gap in poverty rates between Buenos Aires and its largely working-class suburbs had been steadily shrinking from 2003 to 2015 due to the economic recovery on one hand and the rapid growth of property values and rents in the City of Buenos Aires on other; indeed, poverty had fallen from 61% to 24% in the suburbs, but only from 21% to 16% in Buenos Aires proper as rents outstripped income gains.

Many of the "new" poor, as in past economic crises in Argentina, are people with temporary jobs (known locally as changas) and unskilled or semi-skilled employees. A latent risk for these households is the possibility of falling into chronic poverty if job opportunities and purchasing power, both of which have been severely affected in the last six months, do not quickly recover.

Poverty, the report warned, may ultimately rise to 34.9% of those in Buenos Aires proper - and 51.3% in the suburbs - if those who are not poor, but are at risk, continue to lose buying power and suffer layoffs. An estimated 155,000 Argentines have lost their jobs since Macri took office.

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&u=http://www.perfil.com/elobservador/Pobreza-en-el-GBA-de-diciembre-a-mayo-crecio-del-22-al-355-20160611-0081.html&prev=search

Argentine pop artist and conservationist Nicolás García Uriburu dies at 78.

Argentine pop artist Nicolás García Uriburu, celebrated worldwide for using art as a vehicle for environmental activism, died on Sunday.

Born in Buenos Aires in 1937 García Uriburu first earned renown at the June 1968 Venice Biennale, where he dyed Venice's Grand Canal using fluorescein - a pigment which turns a bright green when synthesized by microorganisms in the water. He repeated the feat throughout the 1970s in among other places New York City's East River, the Seine in Paris, the Rhine at Kassel (Germany), the ports of Nice and of Antwerp, and at the mouth of southside Buenos Aires' polluted Riachuelo.

A pioneer in what became known as land art, he created a montage in pastel colors over photographs of each of those scenes, allowing unlimited photographic reproduction of the work for the sake of raising awareness of worsening water pollution.

After planting 7,000 oaks with the great German social artist Joseph Beuys in 1981, García Uriburu returned to Buenos Aires and went on to plant 50,000 trees there over the next few years.

García Uriburu's worldwide fame made him one of Argentina's leading conservationists, and his organized protests over the ongoing degradation of Buenos Aires' industrial Riachuelo waterway ultimately helped lead to the creation of the ACUMAR recovery agency in 2008 and to the waterway's subsequent improvement.

He also collected and became an expert in pre-Columbian art, donating hundreds of archaeological pieces to establish museums in Uruguay and in Buenos Aires.

As he hurried to a meeting on Sunday, García Uriburu collapsed and died holding on to a large tree in near his home in the upscale Barrio Parque area of Buenos Aires. He was 78.

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&u=http://www.lanacion.com.ar/1910891-nicolas-garcia-uriburu-el-artista-pop-con-fuertecompromiso-ambiental&prev=search


García Uriburu using fluorescin to protest pollution in southside Buenos Aires' Riachuelo with Greenpeace in 2010. His efforts helped mobilize government pollution control and cleanup efforts on the industrial waterway.[/center]

JP Morgan whistleblower Hernán Arbizu, who revealed tax evasion scheme, to be extradited to U.S.

Former Vice President at JP Morgan Argentina Hernán Arbizu, who in 2008 became one of his country's most significant whistleblowers, was taken into custody yesterday for voluntary extradition to the United States. Arbizu will be arrested as soon as he arrives in the U.S., where he faces charges of bank fraud, identity theft, and embezzlement.

The former JP Morgan banker will be held until next Wednesday, when he will travel to the U.S. with two FBI agents and his lawyer, Sebastián Nanini. Arbizu had always rejected the idea being extradited - but changed his mind following the election of right-wing President Mauricio Macri last November.

“He willingly said he wanted to be tried in the United States,” his lawyer told the Herald yesterday. “He has no pending investigations against him in Argentina.”

Arbizu first made headlines in June 2008, when he went public on how JP Morgan Argentina facilitated tax evasion for numerous Argentine firms and wealthy clients; as a senior private banker, he alone managed 13 such accounts with over $200 million between them - and had information on Argentine accounts totaling $1.3 billion.

The largest accounts belonged to Ernestina Herrera de Noble and Héctor Magnetto (the chairwoman and CEO of the Clarín Media Group, respectively) and the late María Amalia Lacroze de Fortabat and her estate executor, Congressman Alfonso Prat-Gay - who transferred over $1 billion from the sale of Fortabat's cement firm Loma Negra to tax havens by way of JP Morgan in 2008. Prat-Gay was appointed Finance Minister by President Macri upon taking office six months ago.

Arbizu's congressional testimony was further confirmed by the 2014 SwissLeaks scandal, which revealed that HSBC Argentina had facilitated tax evasion on $3.8 billion by over 4,000 local account holders. He testified that HSBC Argentina had in fact been JP Morgan Argentina's chief partner in the scheme, which began in 2000 and caused lost tax revenue of at least 60 billion pesos (around $15 billion, using the average exchange rate since 2000) on $85 billion transferred to offshore accounts.

Judge Sergio Torres initially took Arbizu's statement in 2008 and ordered a raid on JP Morgan’s offices in Buenos Aires, seizing documents. The case, however, never moved forward. Arbizu claimed Torres was pressured by lawyers and two FBI agents working at the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires who spoke to the judge and asked him to stop investigating.

An example

Arbizu admitted to forging the signature of the former Musimundo music retail chain owner Natalio Garber, a client of the bank, in May 2008 in order to transfer part of Garber’s funds to Paraguayan accounts. Arbizu offered JP Morgan confidentiality over the sensitive information he had on some account holders - including a complete list of JP Morgan's clients across Latin America - in order to be tried in Argentina; but JP Morgan rejected the deal.

“JP Morgan’s hatred against me can be compared to the one has against an infiltrator. I had been nominated to become the bank’s Latin America representative and I had a great relationship with my boss. Now they want to make an example out of me,” Arbizu told the Herald last year.

Argentines are estimated to have up to $400 billion abroad in accounts and investments, over 90% of which is undeclared. “If you go to the lobby of any major hotel in the country,” Arbizu said, “you’ll find a bank representative and his client closing a deal.”

At: http://buenosairesherald.com/article/216333/ex-jp-morgan-banker-taken-into-custody-before-us-extradition
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