Argentina’s AFIP tax bureau is fighting to recover around US$500 million in overdue taxes stemming from what prosecutors alleged were favourable — and illegal — repayment options granted to Oil Combustibles by the former AFIP administration during Cristina Fernández de Kirchner's time as president.
The court will now take charge of the firm in order to audit its assets for future sale.
Earlier this year, the AFIP had agreed with the courts to a mechanism that would allow a winning bidder to repay Oil Combustibles’s debts in 12 instalments. But they failed to seal a deal with Trafigura S.A. (TASA), an oil company based in the Netherlands, leading to the firm’s formal bankruptcy.
Oil Combustibles was owned by López and Fabian de Sousa.
López was jailed in December on a preventative detention order, but released in March. An appeal reversed his release and he and de Sousa were returned to jail. The judge who signed his initial release, Jorge Ballestero, quit the federal court circuit in May amid controversy.