Corruption Probe Against Argentine VP Boudou Opens
By Staff Reporter | May 15, 2012 6:46 AM EST
Argentine Vice President Amado Boudou was charged with embezzlement by a federal court on Monday.
The troubled politician and businessman will be investigated by Federal Prosecutor Jorge Di Lello. Boudou was charged along with his girlfriend and journalist Agustina Kampfer, friend and business partner José María Nuñez Carmona and businessman Alejandro Vandenbroele, according to the Buenos Aires Herald. In addition, ten companies are now under investigation, including the Old Fund holding company, which has been linked to the vice president.
"The scandal surrounding... Boudou and his links with businessmen who acted as his frontmen in multi-million-dollar deals with the government is turning up more and more surprises every day," Di Lello told the BBC.
With the support of Boudou, the Old Fund secured printing company Ciccone the contract to print Argentina's currency and made Vandenbroele the president of the corporation. Although Boudou denied knowing Vandenbroele personally, it was later revealed that Vandenbroele had been paying the rent and television bills of an apartment owned by the vice president.
The official charge brought against Boudou on Monday is "illegal enrichment."
"The prosecutor has found sufficient elements to justify investigating the vice president," Judge Ariel Lijo's secretary Juliana Marquez told the Associated Press. "The judge now needs to initiate the investigation ... examining the declared wealth of the functionary and the others named, along with the sworn declarations of the companies, in search of any incongruencies [sic]."
If convicted, Boudou could face up to six years in prison and a lifetime ban from public office, the AP reported. Boudou is also currently under investigation for influence-trafficking related to the Old Fund incident, but Boudou claims that the three officials behind the case have a political vendetta against him.
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