Sunday, May 26, 2024

ARGENTINA | 06-05-2024 17:11

Investigation reveals Karina Milei’s role in Miami property firm

​​Presidential Chief-of-staff was part of a US-based firm Alkary Investments LLC, which was controlled by her parents, which bought four properties for US$2.7 million in 2018 and later ran into court trouble.

Karina Milei managed a Miami-based company which purchased at least four luxury condos, for close to US$2.7 million between 2018 and 2019, a new investigation has revealed.

The firm, Alkary Investments LLC, was also controlled by President Javier Milei’s parents, Norberto and Alicia.

The news is striking given that Karina Milei, upon her appointment to her brother’s government, declared assets to the tune of 1.7 million pesos to the Anti-Corruption Office, the lowest figure within the Cabinet.

Responding to press enquiries, Presidential Spokesperson Manuel Adorni noted this week that “it was not verified” whether her Alkary Investments role was declared before AFIP tax bureau. 

“We have not found anything about it,” he confirmed.

According to official documents reviewed over the last few months, in a project coordinated by the CLIP Latin American Centre of Journalistic Research, Karina and her parents show up as executives of the firm Alkary Investments LLC, as in the merger of “Alicia” and “Kary” – the President’s mother and sister.

Karina Milei, appointed thanks to the amendment of a decree signed during the government of former president Mauricio Macri which prevented the appointment of officials’ relatives in the Executive Branch, specified that she owned a house in Vicente López, Buenos Aires Province, covering 150 square metres, which she had received in 2011 as an advance inheritance. The official appraised her house at 1.4 million pesos and reported no flats, stocks or bank accounts abroad. 

Consulted by the investigative team, Adorni stated that the source of funds for the property in Miami “was the sale of Norberto Milei’s companies.”

“The idea was to lease them to keep expenses down. But the pandemic led to the cancellation of bookings and leases, and thus they never generated income,” he explained. “Given the impossibility to cover the expenses they incurred, Norberto decided to liquidate them immediately.”


Properties and mortgages

The investigation, reported locally by La Nación and elDiarioAR, confirmed that, between 2021 and 2022, when the pandemic had hit the international market and Javier Milei already aspired to the expansion of La Libertad Avanza, his sister (whom the President calls “the Boss”) and their parents sold those properties purchased for US$2.7 million and the partial sustenance of four mortgages.

However, it was also revealed that the process was turbulent, since Alkary Investments stopped paying the mortgages, which motivated lawsuits in the United States against Norberto Milei and the company, according to court records from Broward and Miami Dade counties, the media outlets reported. 

Court trouble ended when the Milei family finalised the sale of the properties for a total US$2.3 million — according to public records — and they settled the debts they had defaulted on. The last flat was sold when Javier Milei was already a deputy.

The investigation did not manage to explain whether the current President’s family turned a profit in this transaction or not, although the company may have lost nearly US$400,000 in the four operations, according to official data.

“They do not specify whether the President’s sister gave money for the Florida transactions or even withdrew funds after the sale of the real-estate investments,” they explained. According to Adorni, Javier Milei did not take part in the purchase and sale of these four flats in Miami since at the time he was “estranged from his parents and had nothing to do with this investment.” When consulted about whether Alkary Investments was declared before the AFIP tax agency, the presidential spokesman answered in the negative.

During its years of activity, Alkary Investments LLC did not only engage in the purchase and sale of properties, it was also listed as a controlling or recording agent for other companies, such as Alkanor Investments LLC (as in Alicia, Karina and Norberto), the journalistic alliance informed. 

Other companies controlled by Alkary are Piguez Wholesales Group LLC and Pan American Technology Corporation, “but apparently none of them have been related to the Mileis’ activities,” sources from the real-estate sector cited by Perfil explained.

Karina Milei had already performed roles in her father’s companies registered in Argentina: she was an executive of Neumáticos Acassuso SRL in 2007, a company providing tyre and lubricant services; the following year Norberto purchased Campo La Ponderosa SA and Karina got a managerial position in 2015; and until 2017 she was also a director of Dusho SA, which sold chemical products to the rural sector. In 2015, they created Alkary Investments in the United States, together with Javier Guezikaraian, an Argentine real-estate agent with a long-standing friendship with the President’s sister.

After the properties were purchased back in June 2018, and the claims were entered by creditors in Florida courts, the Milei family officially gave up Alkary Investments in 2022, although Guezikaraian continued as company manager until it was dissolved in May, 2023. Adorni stated that “Karina Milei was only included in the company by a decision by the family” and that she “made no capital contributions.” 

“All mortgages were in the name of Alkary, with Norberto Milei as personal guarantor,” he explained, and repeated that “no profit was turned in for the sale.”



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