The Higher Audit of the Federation (ASF) filed two new criminal complaints with the Attorney General’s Office of the Republic (FGR) for the alleged diversion of more than 110 million pesos from the Sedatu budget in 2017, during the management of Rosario Robles at the head of that unit. Bad handling occurred through the signing of agreements under the mode of «The Master Scam».
With the new cases add up to 39 criminal complaints that the Audit has promoted against the administrations of Robles in the past six years. Of these, 26 are from its management at the head of Sedesol and 13 in its period in the Sedatu. The amount of diverted resources would already exceed 6 billion pesos.
The former officer has been preemptively imprisoned for a year and a half, after the FGR accused her of omissions by not having stopped the signing of agreements that gave way to the diversions. The case has been stuck in the last three months due to a negotiation between the parties that has failed to resolve.
A federal judge has already twice ordered the FGR to formally address the defense’s request to seek an alternate exit to the ongoing process. With this agreement Robles also seeks to become a witness of the Prosecutor’s Office itself to stop an apprehension order turned against him for washing and organized crime.
This Friday, February 26, the judge has called a hearing at 10 a.m. for both parties to inform you of the results of the possible negotiation. If there is no agreement, it will order progress to the presentation of evidence with which the case would be reaching trial.
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On 17 February, the ASF filed two new complaints with the FGR for the possible irregular management of resources in the Sedatu in 2017. The Prosecutor’s Office initiated the corresponding investigative folders against those responsible, who will be referred to a special unit responsible for investigating cases related to «the Master Scam».
One of the complaints is based on the results of the 1381-DS-GF audit for the 2017 public account. The auditors concluded that there was a possible diversion of 40 million pesos that Sedatu handed over to the state-owned company Televisora de Hermosillo SA de CV for alleged campaign, image and advertising services.
As usual in these frauds, the money was delivered without any tender, taking advantage of an exception provided for by law to directly agree services with public bodies. These are direct awards through the signing of agreements.
In this way, the 40 million were transferred from Sedatu to Televisora de Hermosillo SA de cv, however, this subcontracted illegally to two other companies to perform the service, and transferred 18 million 335 thousand pesos to them. The other 23 million were not exercised, nor were they returned.
The two subcontracted companies NATNIT SA de CV and CITDOC SA de CV turned out to be operations simulator or phantom companies. The auditors detected the transfer of public money they received to a group of 16 other companies and individuals.
Neither Televisora de Hermosillo SA de CV, nor any of the companies that participated in the triangulations performed the agreed services, but still the money was transferred by the Sedatu.
The second complaint was the result of the 415-DE audit for the same public account. Among the cluster of irregularities detected in this review, the auditors identified the diversion of 81 million 156 thousand pesos that, as usual in this fraud, was delivered without tender to the public company Corporación Mexicana de Impresión, S.A. de C.V. (COMISA).
In violation of the law, COMISA did not perform the services, but transferred one hundred percent of the public resource to four companies Comercializadora y Publicidad Roben, S.A. de C.V.; Donetsk, S.A. de C.V.; MC Iniciativa Gráfica, S.A. de C.V. y Servicios Publicitarios Graicy, S.A. de C.V.
The auditors went to the tax domiciles of these companies to request evidence to prove the services performed, but found that the companies were not there. In addition, the review of federal records showed that none of the companies had employees and did not report income even though they clearly had them. They are presumed to be facade companies.
Because there is no verification that the services had actually been performed, the ASF assumes in this case that the 81 million pesos would have been diverted for unknown purposes.
Read more: Master Scam: Oak Defense Says Deviant Resources Were Used in Meade, Pe CampaignsEdomex
Key hours for Robles
Regardless of the complaints filed, Rosario Robles’ legal status reaches a key moment this Friday, February 26. Judge Ganther Villar Ceballos has called a hearing to determine whether the only ongoing criminal proceedings against the former officer come to trial, or whether early termination is required.
The decision is relevant because a possible agreement could mean Robles regaining his freedom shortly, after remaining in pre-emptively for more than a year and a half.
The FGR has so far not expressed interest in accepting an early departure. The unit has insisted that it has elements for Robles to be sentenced to more than 20 years in prison and also ordered to pay more than five billion pesos.
The defense, on the other hand, has proposed giving up going to a trial they consider to be winable, in exchange for her client pleading guilty on Friday, but she is charged with a minimum sentence and un reparation for the damage.
The judge has twice required the FGR to formally address the defense’s request and appoint a high-level official for possible negotiation, a situation that has not happened so far. The defense sent on Wednesday two offices addressed to prosecutors in the case in which it insists on starting this process.
In this context, the hearing scheduled at 10 a.m. will be held before the South Reclusory’s control judge. For sanitary reasons the session will be held through videoconference.
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