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Argentina – Buenos Aires prosecutors issue arrest warrant for ex-Head of Lottery

By - 7 January 2019

A national and international capture request has been put forward for the former President of the Provincial Institute of Lottery and Casinos (IPLyC) of Buenos Aires, Jorge Rodriguez, as well as its former treasurer Jorge Maggi, both of whom are currently fugitives from justice.

Both stand accused, together with two other employees who have already turned themselves over to authorities, for the crimes of unlawful association, embezzlement and fraud amounting to more than 18 million pesos. The alleged offences took place between 2013 and 2015, during the administration of former Governor Daniel Scioli.

Judicial sources told La Tecla newspaper that a prosecutor requested the arrest warrants, after Rodriguez and Maggi failed to turn themselves into authorities. Prosecutors in charge of the case argue that the defendants initiated files to generate fake advertising invoices in favour of people with whom they had an illegal arrangement.

At least another eight people may have been involved in the alleged scam. The complaint for the case was initially filed in 2016 by the then director of the IPLyC, Melitón Eugenio López after an audit. Prosecutor Néstor Hugo Tesón gathered evidence in the documents seized in the IPLyC during a number of different proceedings, based on a judicial complaint filed by López, at the beginning of the administration of Governor María Eugenia Vidal.

Lopez initiated a judicial investigation into the alleged fraud worth in June 2016. The investigation widened in August 2016 after a number of claims were made that corrupt officials could have used money generated by bingo halls and lotteries in the province of Buenos Aires in order to launder money and finance political campaigns.

Deputy Elisa Carrió has also accused the ex Head of Lotteries and Casinos for the Lottery of Buenos Aires, Luis Alberto Peluso, (who Scioli replaced with Rodriguez) for alleged criminal behaviour. Carrió alleges that while Scioli was governor around 1,340 lottery agencies were created and outlined a possible scheme whereby money was siphoned off during the licensing process in order to fund political campaigns.

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