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Argentina – Former Vice President fined for linking Bolt boss to mafia

By - 7 August 2019

Argentina’s former Vice President Amado Boudou will have to pay up to $1.5m to Antonio Tabanelli, the owner of Boldt, for inferring that he was part of the mafia.

The decision was made by a Federal Civil Court in relation to the complaint which Tabanelli made in 2014, following two statements made by Boudou. As the compensation was fixed at $500,000, the accumulated interest means that the penalty now stands at $1.5m

In court, Tabanelli initially demanded $ 11,000,000 from the ex Vice President, on the grounds that his claims had not only damaged him personally but his company as well. However the court ultimately decided on a lesser amount.

On April 5, 2012, the then vice-president in a press conference accused Tabanelli of being a “mobster” and being behind an operation against him designed to undermine the country’s mint.

According to the court due to Boudou’s position in the government at the time the statements were made it was “not Mr. Boudou, but the State” who was saying that “‘Mr. Tabanelli is a mobster'”, which means that it had a greater weight in the public domain and was therefore more serious.

Boldt is a company that has businesses linked to gambling with bingos and hotels, but is also involved in printing. At the time it was looking into buying into Ciccone Calcografica, the only facility in Argentina with the capacity to print legal tender, but ultimately did not go ahead with the move.

The former vice-president to Fernández de Kirchner was released in December under bail while he appealed a near-six-year conviction for bribery and conducting business incompatible with public office. However he is now back in jail.

Boudou was convicted of using shell companies for the fraudulent acquisition of Ciccone Calcografica, a company that was provided with contracts to print Argentine currency as well as material used for President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s election campaign. In the Ciccone case the charges relate to Boudou’s attempt to buy the company through a front while serving as Kirchner’s economy minister. The courts found that Boudou had sought to keep the company through his friend José María Nuñez Carmona and lawyer Alejandro Vandenbroele. According to the justice department they used the firm The Old Fund to hide the vice president’s involvement in the move.

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