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Mon Sep 19, 2016, 09:14 PM

Macri's accountant ties president to more Panama Papers firms

Argentine President Mauricio Macri's accountant may have inadvertently tied the Argentine leader to even more offshore tax havens, a report by Argentine online journal El Destape revealed Friday.

This offshore firm, named “Karter Properties,” is a shell company created in 1999 and tied to another Bahamas firm called Fleg Trading. Fleg, like Kagemusha SA and numerous other such offshore firms, was founded and run by Francisco “Franco” Macri, a prominent Argentine state contractor and President Macri’s father.

Macri was one of only five current heads of government listed in the Panama Papers scandal in April, when it was revealed that he was once a director and vice president of the Bahamas-based company Fleg Trading. Fleg was an offshore shell company set up by Mossack Fonseca, the disgraced Panama City corporate law firm at the center of the scandal.

Macri claimed Fleg Trading was set up for a venture in Brazil that was never active and was ultimately dissolved in 2009. An investigation by the Buenos Aires news daily Página/12 later found that the company was active and invested millions of dollars in Brazil for the Macri family's largest current business interest, the Pago Fácil wire transfer and bill payment service.

According to an investigation by Página/12, the two firms (Fleg and Karter) operated together, with lawyers and accountants dealing with them concurrently as shown by emails that ordered paperwork be carried out for both firms simultaneously.

The link between the two firms is an accounting firm ran by Santiago Lussich Torrendell in Uruguay, a favored destination for Argentine offshoring and tax evasion activities. Lawyers at both the Uruguayan firm and Mossack Fonseca were responsible for dealing with both Fleg and Karter.

Macri's accountant was called to testify in the investigation probing the president's potential improprieties by virtue of his association with offshore companies. Lussich himself is named in the documents as the person responsible for managing Fleg Trading. In his testimony, Lussich said he set up Fleg Trading upon the request of Franco Macri in March 1998.

“A few months later we asked (Panama) to provide us a template for the minutes of the Board of Directors to make a change: the departure of the initial three directors and admission of employees of Francisco Macri,” Lussich said under oath. This testimony appears to confirm suspicions that the Macri family would name employees as directors of companies in order to avoid having to list themselves as the directors.

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 for El Destape, 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 mayor of Buenos Aires.

The listed board of directors of those entities include Armando Amasanti, who was the chairman of Franco Macri's defunct automobile company Sevel in Argentina and was indicted, with Mauricio Macri, for involvement in a massive export and import tax evasion scheme in the late 1990s.

Most of the firms are still active, the investigation shows, while at least two of them - Foxchase Trading SA and Danae Alliance Company SA - were founded just as Macri was gearing up for his presidential run last year. Macri failed to declare any offshore firms as assets in his financial disclosures, as Argentine law requires for all candidates and public officials

At: http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Macris-Accountant-Ties-President-To-More-Panama-Paper-Firms-20160919-0006.html

And: http://buenosairesherald.com/article/221786/new-company-linked-to-macri-family-in-panama-papers-documents

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Reply Macri's accountant ties president to more Panama Papers firms (Original post)
forest444 Sep 2016 OP
Judi Lynn Sep 2016 #1
Judi Lynn Sep 2016 #2
forest444 Sep 2016 #3

Response to forest444 (Original post)

Mon Sep 19, 2016, 11:43 PM

1. Wouldn't this bury most ordinary politicians? Looks as if Argentina has its own Teflon President.

Gianfranco Macri set up fibe of his dirty companies two days after Macri got his first huge political prize. Damn!

Two more, just as he was heading for the Presidential election.

No wonder Trump loves this dirtball.

Both Macri and Trump, racist, sleazy, power mad, hate-filled fascists. Members of the good ol' boys club.

Sooner or later Macri is going to stop. Hope it will happen before he has tortured and murdered as many as his beloved heroes did.

Thank you, forest444. This is the biggest spotlight on Macri's machinations yet.

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Response to forest444 (Original post)

Tue Sep 20, 2016, 01:50 AM

2. Love the Buenos Aires Herald. Sure hope Macri won't try to put them out of business.

No doubt he has hated them a long time.

Thanks for your great links.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #2)

Tue Sep 20, 2016, 06:20 PM

3. You'll be happy to know the Herald turned 140 this week, Judi.

I understand they've always had that progressive, independent streak. As I recall reading, they once shared the Anglophone market with another, more conservative daily - The Standard - that went out of business in 1959 as much because the English-speaking immigrant base was shrinking, as it did because the Buenos Aires Herald simply commanded more respect.

The Herald had the further distinction of being the only news daily in Argentina to routinely report on the disappearances during the Dirty War in the '70s, as well as to point out glaring inconsistencies in some of the "terrorist attacks" at the time. Not surprisingly, the editor-in-chief at the time, Robert Cox, had to leave Argentina.

Fast-forwarding to the recent past, I can tell you they didn't mince words whenever Cristina Kirchner made mistakes, or when some of her officials committed wrongdoing. They certainly had no plans of mincing words now.

Has Macri retaliated against the Herald for speaking up? It's hard to say; but on September 6, their site was hacked (they were able to recover it by the next day).

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