Buenos Aires Times

argentina 2017 midterms

Prosecutor seeks criminal investigation into Cambiemos campaign donor scandal

Money from alleged fake donors was used to fund the campaigns of candidates Gladys González, Esteban Bullrich, Graciela Ocaña, and Héctor “Toty” Flores, all of whom won their respective races.

Wednesday 4 July, 2018
Cambiemos' 2017 mid-term election ticket. Left to right: Graciela Ocaña, Esteban Bullrich, Gladys González and Héctor Flores.
Cambiemos' 2017 mid-term election ticket. Left to right: Graciela Ocaña, Esteban Bullrich, Gladys González and Héctor Flores. Foto:Noticias Argentinas

A federal prosecutor has requested a criminal investigation be opened into the financial activity of the Cambiemos (Let’s Change) congressional coalition during its 2017 mid-term election campaign in Buenos Aires province.

Cambiemos — the coalition that secured Mauricio Macri’s 2015 presidential win — is alleged to have laundered money by falsifying donation receipts using the names and details of low-income welfare recipients.

Federal prosecutor Carlos Stornelli has requested the auditing of campaign finances and an investigation into the structure of the campaign’s accounting and financial teams.

Four hundred people were listed as donors without knowing, with these fake donors appearing in financial statements as having given between AR$ 300 to AR$ 1,500, for a total of at least AR $300,000, the news site El Destape reported.

The money was then allegedly used to fund the campaigns of candidates Gladys González, Esteban Bullrich, Graciela Ocaña, and Héctor “Toty” Flores, all of whom won their respective races.

The complaint was made by the La Alameda political-activist group and picked up in the anti-Macri news platform El Destape.

One branch of case is currently in the hands of prosecutor Jorge Di Lello in Buenos Aires City and another with judge Sebastián Casanello. However, it may be moved to provincial jurisdiction, given the connections between the alleged laundering of funds and the 2017 election of candidates representing that province.

-TIMES

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