Judge Romn Lanzn will have to decide this Thursday if he dictates the preventive imprisonment of some executives, a measure that will be requested by the prosecutor. (Photo: Sebastin Granata)
The 14 members of the board of the agro-exporter Vicentin, which reached the top positions in the ranking of grain shipments abroad, were charged this Tuesday for fraud, fraud and false balances by the Rosario prosecutor, Miguel Moreno, who asked in the next hearing set for Thursday the preventive prison of some of those executives.
Moreno, prosecutor of the Rosario Economic Crimes Unit, I imputed the directors of Vicentin for the crime of false balance in real bankruptcy for fraud and fraud in six acts committed against foreign banks affected by the default of the company, in the hearing that took place in the Criminal Justice Center.
He also charged all the executives with the crime of fraud as a co-author against the collectors from whom he received grains until the moment of declaring themselves in financial stress and subsequent cessation of payments, according to Santa Fe judicial sources.
The 14 defendants are Daniel Nstor Buyatti (president of Vicentin), Alberto Julin Macua (vice president), Roberto Alejandro Gazze (financial director), Mximo Javier Padoan, Cristin Andrs Padoan, Martn Sebastin Colombo, Sergio Roberto Vicentin, Pedro Germn Vicentin, Roberto Oscar Vicentin and Yanina Colomba Boschi, Raul Gonzlez Arcelus, Omar Adolfo Scarel (trustee) and Miguel Vallazza.
Buyatti was also indicted personally for the crime of misappropriation of taxes, and along with the rest of the executives received the indictment for the crime of fraud against Banco Macro, one of the local financial institutions affected by Vicentin’s maneuvers, along with to the banks Nacin and Provincia de Buenos Aires.
Prosecutor Moreno pointed out that “although the penalty contemplated for fraud is six years, due to the accumulation of crimes charged we are in a position to request the maximum penalty, which is up to 50 years””
The judge who intervenes in the case, Romn Lanzn, will have to decide this Thursday if he dictates the preventive prison of some executives, an action to be requested by the prosecutor with the understanding that they can influence the process, or if he accepts the offer of surety offered by the company for a sum of US $ 5 million.
At the conclusion of the hearing, Prosecutor Moreno pointed out that “Although the penalty contemplated for fraud is six years, due to the accumulation of crimes charged we are in a position to request the maximum penalty, which is up to 50 years.”
Among Vicentin’s executives, only Mximo Padoan made statements to the press when he left and expressed his “bewilderment” over the accusation.
After the fourth intermission, in the final section of the investigation that Moreno has commissioned for almost a year and a half, during the hearing on Thursday the defenders of the accused will make their defense, since they indicated that have to analyze in detail an electronic evidence of 36 million files that came to them at the last moment.
In addition to the proceedings of the main creditors and damaged banks, last week Banco Nacin asked that the consulting firm that audited Vicentin’s balance sheets be investigated, given the elements that allowed the deduction of documentary falsification, even when the auditors argued that the fall of the company in 2019 was a crisis that had dragged on from previous years.
The prosecutor’s survey analyzed the activity carried out by the representatives of the Vicentin management and inspection body, who “would have entered into purchase and sale contracts and received merchandise, knowing and knowing that it was impossible to meet the payments thereof.”
The defendants are credited with having prepared, approved and used the annual balance sheets as of October 2017 and October 2018 that contain false financial information consisting of hiding the true liabilities of the company.
The prosecutor maintains that they also prepared and presented to international banks, quarterly reports corresponding to the periods January 2017, April 2017, July 2017, January 2018, April 2018, July 2018, January 2019, April 2019 and July 2019.
These reports show an apparent solid financial situation of Vicentin “in order to hide its economic and financial reality, deceive financial entities and thus, misleadingly caused equity dispositions that exceed US $ 500 million by virtue of agreed credit lines.”
The complainant foreign banks are the International Finance Corporation (IFC, of the World Bank Group); the Dutch Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden NV, Coperatieve Rabobank UA and ING Bank; and Natixis New York Branch, from the United States.
Prosecutor Moreno defined Vicentin’s maneuvers as “a staging of a solvent and reliable company”, in order to generate confidence in the producers, grain sellers, stockpiles, cooperatives and brokers, “who, deceived, delivered tons of grain under the modality of contracts with a price to be fixed, with the full knowledge of the directors and trustees of the impossibility of fulfilling the obligations assumed ”.
Among those affected, I identified the local firms Cuatro Camas SA, Olzen Industria y Comercio de Calzados SA, Maniagro SA, La Clementina SA, Commodities SA, to which they offered better prices than the competition and much longer deadlines to set prices.