Wednesday, August 17, 2022

ARGENTINA | 26-07-2019 09:30

Court to open investigation into Báez Jr. over missing US$1.5m

Leandro Báez, the youngest son of disgraced businessman Lázaro Báez, is accused of not declaring the multi-million dollar sale of 250,000 kilos of sheep wool.

The youngest son of disgraced businessman Lázaro Báez looks likely to face investigation by a federal court over the disappearance of some US$1.5 million tied to the sale of sheep wool.

Federal Judge María Servini de Cubría will investigate Leandro Báez, the son of the former Kirchner presidential couple's alleged frontman Lázaro, over the sale - allegedly in cash - of 250,000 kilos of wool, Clarín newspaper reported Wednesday.

Báez Jr. also faces preventative detention following a request from prosecutor Abel Córdoba that the young man be arrested on the grounds he posed a risk to the investigation and could flee.

Leandro's older brother Martín is currently behind bars after breaking an embargo placed on his assets in the so-called "K-money route" investigation, in which prosecutors allege the Báez family was involved in a scheme of money laundering of some US$60 million, in cahoots with the Kirchner family, across a three-year period.

In this case, the sale of the wool from 2016 to 2018 "may have been made illegally", the prosecution told the court. The money, totalling some US$1.5 million remains unaccounted for.

According to reports by Clarín, the court will not act to detain Leandro but soon plans to open an investigation into the missing funds.

The youngest of the Báez children has previously tried to distance himself from his father and brother.

In April, he told the court investigating him and his relatives that the company at the heart of the alleged conspiracy, Austral Construcciones, owned by his father, ""was his [Lázaro Báez's] business and he managed it as his wished"

Leandro faces four years behind bars if found guilty of involvement in the money laundering scheme.

"Martín didn't tell me about the offshore accounts. Martín is a very reserved person", he told the court in April. "I never asked anybody where the money came from".

"Lázaro managed the money. He would say: 'I handle the money'", he alleged.

His lawyer Analia Fangano has argued before the court that Lázaro Báez manipulated his children who "had no control or awareness" about the alleged illegal financial operations being carried out in their names.


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