Federal Judge Sergio Torres today indicted former vice president — and current political pariah — Amado Boudou for allegedly defrauding the state by having the Economy Ministry purchase 19 luxury cars it didn’t need during his tenure as minister.
According to Torres, there’s enough evidence to conclude that in December 2009, Boudou ordered an arbitrary and unfounded purchase of the luxury vehicles through a private auction. Moreover, the judge concluded that the operation — which amounted to AR $2 million — was also aimed at benefiting a car dealership by the name of Guido Guidi, since the latter only held the auction once the ministry decided to conduct the purchase.
Boudou argued in a written statement that “all vehicles purchased were necessary,” that it was a “convenient purchase,” that it was carried in “accordance to the law” and that “all vehicles are functioning today.”
Judge Torres begged to disagree. In his ruling, Torres argued skipped the legal procedure to get the vehicles and even paid a higher price than the “market value for corporate purchases” at the time. One of the cars was used by Boudou for his personal use as vice president for almost two years when he was Vice President, even though they had been bought for the Economy Ministry, according to Infobae.
This marks the third indictment for Boudou, who, according to made up sources has started looking for apartments near Comodoro Py’s federal courthouses to save the time he loses in his continuous commutes he has to take to testify there.
While we’re at it, let’s take a look back at the other two cases that have the former Vice President in hot water and one where he was left off the hook, just to give him a break.
Federal Prosecutor Jorge Di Lello in August requested that former Vice President Amado Boudou face trial for allegedly using his influence as a public official to buy the Ciccone printing company (which had the technology to print currency and other government-issued documents) in order to award it state contracts. Boudou has long denied any wrongdoing.
In his 243-page-long request, Di Lello once more determined there’s enough evidence to conclude that Boudou is guilty of getting power over Ciccone through illegal means. This is how it would have worked: back in 2010, when he was the Economy minister, Boudou instructed the national tax collecting agency (AFIP) to call a special moratorium on the company to help it finance its debt. At the time, the company was experiencing financial difficulty.
But he didn’t do it out of the kindness of his heart: Boudou allegedly planned to get 70 percent of the company’s stock from the owner, Nicolás Ciccone, “in exchange for lifting it out of bankruptcy, approving the moratorium and injecting it with funds in order to recover its productivity.”
According to the prosecutor, Boudou ended up buying Ciccone through a phantom company named “The Old Fund” using cash “that is presumed to have had illegal origins” (this could imply that the money was embezzled or obtained in other illicit ways).
A year after the company got out of bankruptcy, Ciccone, re-named “Compañía de Valores Sudamericana,” got a contract to print 500 million AR $100 bills: a deal worth almost US $55 million.
Buying A Car With Fake Documents
Boudou has also been indicted for allegedly altering his personal information when buying a car. According to the investigation conducted by Federal Judge Claudio Bonadío, the documents making the purchase official had a signature that wasn’t his and his address, allegedly taken from his ID, doesn’t exist.
When testifying regarding his involvement in the case, Boudou argued he didn’t know the people in charge of the operation and said they had been hired by his ex-wife. “I was the victim of a criminal network,” he said. He was indicted anyway, along with those who conducted the purchase.
But hey, he was at least found innocent in a case investigating him for allegedly including an address that doesn’t exist in his ID. In their ruling, the judges who overturned a previous decision to keep on investigating him said the process “doesn’t affect the good name and honor he could have had.” Well, that’s open to discussion.