Federal Prosecutor Eduardo Taiano today formally indicted the former head of Military Industries (Fabricaciones Militares), a State-run company that produces military equipment, and his wife for allegedly defrauding the State by billing it “exorbitant and unnecessary” expenses.
According to Taiano, there’s enough evidence to conclude that Santiago Rodríguez and María Grané (the husband and wife duo who are members of the Kirchnerite youth organization La Cámpora) could’ve done this in two different ways:
- By hiring 1,115 new employees between 2013 and 2015. According to Infobae, the area Grané was in charge of — communication and press — went from having four employees to 40 in this time span.
- By billing unjustified expenses between 2011 and 2015, most of which don’t have much to do with building military equipment, it would seem. Let’s take a look at some of these:
- A drone for AR $88,500
- A dog for AR $6,000 to shoot an ad about new radars
- Copyright payments for two songs to be used in ads: AR $88,100 for Porque yo te amo by Sandro and AR $22,900 for Radar by Drago Alem and Schaff Heber.
- Six full rides to the 2013 Cannes Film Festival to have lucky employees “obtain knowledge about audiovisual production.” Military Industries spent US $876 million en trips between 2011 and 2015.
To determine whether these expenses were justified, Taiano requested Federal Judge Julián Ercolini, who is the judge in charge of overseeing the case, order Military Industries to turn in a copy of its balance sheets between 2011 and 2014 and all staff files. A probe will be ordered to determine where the millions of pesos spent in equipment are.