Federal Judge Claudio Bonadio indicted former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner today for her role in the so-called “Los Sauces” case, where she has been accused of unlawful association, incompatible negotiations with public office and money laundering. The judge also determined to have her assets seized for AR $130 million and prevented her from leaving the country until her legal situation in this case is figured out.
The former president’s children Máximo and Florencia Kirchner, and businessmen Lázaro Báez and Cristóbal López as well as other people who were involved in the crimes allegedly committed were also indicted for unlawful association and prevented from leaving the country.
In his ruling, Bonadio ruled that there was enough evidence to conclude that Los Sauces, the real estate company owned by the former President and her children, actually served as a front to launder public funds that had been previously embezzled by the assignment of over-inflated state contracts to the businessmen.
The money Baez and Lopez paid in renting properties is thought to be a kickback for the influence CFK used while in office to push for State contracts to be given to the two business men. The fact that the properties rented by the businessmen made up more than 80 percent of the company’s income helped the judge to get to this conclusion.
At the end of his ruling, Bonadio argues that the high-profile cases in which Fernández is being investigated — Los Sauces, Hotesur and the corruption case being investigated by Judge Julián Ercolini — should be all grouped into a single case because they all share an M.O and have the same main actors. According to Infobae, this could happen once the appeals court confirms Fernández’s indictment in this case.
The investigation began after former presidential candidate and Progressive Front leader Margarita Stolbizer — who was also responsible for the launch of the Hotesur investigation, another high-profile case implicating Cristina — pressed charges against Los Sauces. Stolbizer has also accused the Kirchner family of forging legal documents in order to cover up the unsavory business behind the real estate rentals.