Judge in Argentina Indicts Kirchner Associate. Lázaro Baez is accused of overbilling public-works projects between 2003 and 2015. Not just Baez. His son, his accountant, their lawyer (who’s apparently missing), and the former head of Argentina’s tax collection agency, too:
Federal Judge Sebastián Casanello indicted Lázaro Báez, his son, Martín, and four others in connection with an investigation into allegations that Mr. Báez plotted with federal officials to steal millions of dollars from the state by overbilling public-works projects granted by the government between 2003 and 2015.
Earlier this month, the judge had Mr. Báez and his accountant, Sebastian Perez Gadin, arrested in connection with the investigation. Judge Casanello ordered that the two remain in jail. Neither Mr. Baez nor Mr. Perez Gadin was reachable for comment. Mr. Báez has denied the allegations. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal in 2014, he said that the probe was part of a campaign to harm his firms and discredit the Kirchner administration.
The judge also ordered the arrest of a lawyer with close ties to the two. The lawyer, Jorge Chueco, went missing last week and federal investigators say he may have left the country.
In a 122-page ruling released late Monday, the judge also prohibited the former head of Argentina’s tax collection agency, Ricardo Echegaray, and another former tax agency official from leaving the country. Judge Casanello called for both former officials to testify in the case.
La ruta del dinero K indeed.