Cristóbal López, the oil and media tycoon with close ties to former presidents Néstor and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, handed himself over to police early this morning after a brief period on the run. He has been taken to Ezeiza prison on a preventative detention order.
López and his business partner Fabián de Sousa are accused of tax evasion to the tune of eight billion pesos (US$500 million). De Sousa was also arrested and jailed, while former AFIP tax office chief Ricardo Echegaray was charged but not arrested.
López handed himself in at the Gendarmerie’s Centinela building a little after midnight. From there, he was taken to the cells in the Comodoro Py courthouse. De Sousa was arrested at 4pm Tuesday at his Puerto Madero apartment.
The court has placed 17-million-peso embargoes on both López and Sousa.
López has been in hot water since early 2016 when anti-corruption activist and lawmaker Elisa Carrió lodged a criminal complaint against former AFIP officials for allowing López’s Oil Combustibles SA firm to delay tax payments and benefit from irregular repayment concessions offered by the AFIP.
Now under new management, the AFIP confirmed that the firm had evaded up to eight billion pesos in taxes.
Prosecutors alleged López and de Sousa used the unpaid taxes to finance other projects like López's Grupo Indalo, a media firm that includes the C5N television station which is known to favour former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner's political agenda.