In a second stage of the investigation into Oil Combustibles, the oil company for which its owners Cristóbal López and Fabián De Sousa are under oral trial for alleged fraud against the State, Judge Julián Ercolini was about to send an oral trial former AFIP officials prosecuted for having favored businessmen with easy payment plans for the multimillion dollar debt they had accumulated with the treasury, according to the indictment. In February, the collecting body reported that it will not accuse those former officials and this week he presented the rationale for that decision.
In April 2019, Ercolini prosecuted who was the right hand of Ricardo Echegaray, Angel Toninelli, as co-perpetrator of the crime of aggravated fraudulent administration in the cause for the tax debt of 8 billion pesos of Oil, Cristóbal López’s company. The list of defendants included 17 other officials of the collecting body, as participants in a maneuver that made possible the granting of plans that, for justice, should not be granted.
In this second part of the case -which emerges from the central file that is submitted to oral and public trial- Gerardo Pollicita’s prosecutor’s office investigated the “criminal network that involves, on the one hand, Oil Combustibles” and “various former officials of the AFIP “including Ricardo Echegaray” (already processed in the first tranche).
Of this file related to the main case, whose trial began in 2019, AFIP withdrew.
In a brief note, attorneys Silvina Verónica Torres and Fabricio Antonio Lanzillotta reported that the tax agency “has ceased in its interest to promote the punitive claim, with respect to the officials who are the object of this transfer “.
Faced with this determination, before making his request for elevation so that the case progresses to oral debate, the prosecutor Pollicita asked that the treasury – under the leadership of Mercedes Marcó del Pont– Explain the reasons why you dropped the accusation.
For this reason, a few days ago a twelve-page document entered the Ercolini court, which he agreed to. Clarion. In it, the attorneys for the AFIP indicated that “the functions described and the consequent functional duties – mirror of those -, which would have been violated by those who exercised the respective positions at the time of the events, although they were essential for the realization of the maneuver (the alleged tax fraud carried out by Oil), they did not allow to carry it out on their own, but for this, the decision -and the consequent active or omissionate behavior, depending on the case- of who held the administration of the National Treasury, that is, of the Federal Administrator, Echegaray, was required. “
Faced with this first argument, they indicated that it would not be “convenient” to proceed with the accusation requested by Judge Ercolini.
They excused themselves by indicating that from different resolutions, testimonies during the Oil trial, such as the note presented by the heads of the Agency and Regional Directors, the accused officials argued that they feared that the administrative acts carried out would be prosecuted.
The AFIP exercises the role of private accuser, both in the first instance and before the Oral Court. For this reason, his lawyers understood that “he cannot fail to observe the different circumstances that have been taking place in the process in a comprehensive manner, since the new elements indicated have a direct impact on the evaluation of the actions of the officials.”
When evaluating the two causes, the one that is already in oral proceedings and of which they desisted from intervening, the Treasury said in its brief that in its opinion “It would not be appreciated, at least manifestly, violated procedures or regulations associated with the tax management to charge of this Administration, that allow or sustain the interest of the Agency in maintaining its punitive claim “.
Judge Ercolini prosecuted Echegaray’s subordinates when he was in front of the AFIP, which at the discretion of the prosecution they did not fulfill their respective functions but rather facilitated the maneuver That led Cristóbal López and Fabián De Sousa to prison: defrauding the treasury of more than 8,000 million pesos.
That fraud, which according to the investigation would have been carried out between May 2013 and December 2015 – the lapse in which Oil Combustibles omitted the payment of the gasoline tax – would have been possible thanks to the key contribution of the AFIP, “being that the former officials investigated did not promptly demand payment of the debt, at the same time that they would have allowed per share on some occasions, by default many others, a large number of irregularities in the treatment, granting and subsequent management of payment facility regimes“indicated the processing that was confirmed by the Buenos Aires Federal Chamber.
In his resolution, Ercolini stressed that Toninelli, as head of the DGI at time K, allowed Oil “to restructure its liabilities permanently (which) finally generated the situation that, according to Toninelli, they tried to avoid through the plans: the generalized state of insolvency of Oil in particular and of the Indalo group in general – which was essentially financed with fuel tax money liquids “.
Other decisions of the AFIP
We must remember Marcó del Pont disintegrated the Coordinating Committee created by the macrismo and which was made up of 70 people, including technicians, lawyers, specialists. They were in charge of the Oil Combustibles case, like other investigations: the one linked to the possible movements of illicit funds in the work of burying the Sarmiento train, which involved the cousin of former president Mauricio Macri.
This year also, Mercedes Marcó del Pont gave his approval for Cristóbal López to lift the bankruptcy of Oil Combustibles, inactive since 2018 and with its main assets sold. The distribution of those 100 million dollars was suspended because businessman K seeks the lifting of bankruptcy by settlement, that is, he seeks the agreement of all his creditors to find another means of payment and that his company is not liquidated. The treasury, the main creditor, has already agreed.