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Thu Nov 26, 2015, 02:04 PM

Macri Economy Minister Alfonso Prat-Gay and his shady dealings with the billionaire Fortabat estate.

The Congressman transferred US$1.025 billion from the sale of Amalia Fortabat's cement firm Loma Negra to tax havens. Upon her death in 2012 he was appointed as executor of her estate, estimated at US$1.6 billion.

The image was eloquent, but the media and the entire political spectrum failed to see it as such. On February 19, a few hours after the death of Argentine billionaire Amalia Lacroze de Fortabat, Alfonso Prat Gay was one of ten pallbearers at the funeral of the "Lady of Cement" at the renowned Recoleta Cemetery. Visibly distressed, Prat-Gay, the Ranking Member of the House Finance Committee, knew he would have a hard task to carry out. Fortabat's heirs had designated the former JP Morgan wealth manager as executor of an estate that Forbes magazine estimated at US$1.6 billion - a role incompatible with his duties as Congressman, since Fortabat's cement maker, Loma Negra, is also a leading state contractor.

However, the link between Prat-Gay and Fortabat family has a long history: in 2005, when the Loma Negra cement was sold to the Brazilian conglomerate Camargo Correa, Fortabat chose him to handle the sale valued at US$1.025 billion. Despite her own misgiving toward JP Morgan for having undersold Loma Negra in order to collect a quick commission, Prat-Gay was presented by her survivors as "the most transparent option" to manage the administration of the fortune.

Prat Gay refused to involve his former partners in an opportunity of this magnitude. He ultimately wired the proceeds from the estate to four flagship tax havens: the United States, Britain, Hong Kong and Switzerland. According to data obtained by Tiempo Argentino from banking sources, the first transfer was US$100 million in 2005; the second for US$430 million 2006; US$600 million in 2007; and another US$600 million in 2008.

The financial engineering Prat-Gay used was the same for each transfer: the use of a diversified basket of currencies, short-selling the peso, and not a penny invested in the country. He then closed, and then reopened, Fortabat's UBS accounts merely to line his own commissions, since intermediaries are entitled to kickbacks of up to 40% for new financial products they help the bank sell. The commissions may have accounted for hisbeing denounced in 2007 for offshoring personal funds totaling US$800,000 - his many Congressional speeches criticizing capital flight notwithstanding.

Tilton Capital, a wealth management outfit he co-founded with Pedro Lacoste (son of the late Admiral Carlos Lacoste, who held top posts during the 1976-83 dictatorship), is also suspected of arranging tax avoidance schemes. "Tilton is one of nearly 20 offices of its kind in Buenos Aires," a Prat-Gay collaborator said. "They are called 'financial intermediaries' but their only characteristic is opening offshore accounts."

His foray into charitable activities has likewise come under scrutiny. A year after the Loma Negra sale, Congressman Prat Gay formed the Andares ('Paths') Foundation, "for the development of microfinance." Currently closed, the foundation's stated aim was to "contribute to the eradication of poverty and social exclusion by, supporting the development of microfinance." Andares was primarily underwritten by the Amilia Lacroze de Fortabat Foundation. The charity was managed not by people with experience in non-profits; but by corporate accountants who would have experience in managing tax writeoffs - including Lacoste. Among its other managers was Luis Cedrola, adviser to the Christian Association of Business Managers - an advocacy group tied to the far-right Catholic sect Opus Dei - and Orlando Salvestrini, the CFO of the leading Argentine wire transfer and bill pay service Pago Fácil - which is owned by the Macri family.

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&u=http://tiempo.infonews.com/nota/104947/los-oscuros-negocios-de-prat-gay-con-el-millonario-patrimonio-de-amalita&prev=search
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Besides being the author of one of the greatest tax frauds in Argentine history, Prat-Gay's funds have put options against the peso - which of course means that he would personally stand to gain by his own order to devalue if Macri goes through with it.

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Reply Macri Economy Minister Alfonso Prat-Gay and his shady dealings with the billionaire Fortabat estate. (Original post)
forest444 Nov 2015 OP
Judi Lynn Nov 2015 #1

Response to forest444 (Original post)

Thu Nov 26, 2015, 03:01 PM

1. More ties to the military dictatorship, as well, not to mention Opus Dei. Hideous.

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Macri Economy Minister Alfonso Prat-Gay: Someone with too much time on his hands? [/center]s
Thanks for the information infusion regarding this Economy Minister. Unbelievable.

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