A federal prosecutor yesterday requested a 54-million-peso freeze order to be placed on the former head of the IECSA construction firm Angelo Calcaterra over his alleged involvement in bribes and overpricing in public works contracts.
The potential corruption is part of the far-reaching Odebrecht scandal involving the Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht, which in 2006 lead a consortium of companies in signing a multi-billion dollar public works contract with the Argentine government to send the Sarmiento train line underground.
Calcaterra's legal woes are likely to concern the national government because of Calcaterra’s personal connections to President Mauricio Macri, his cousin.
In 2007, Macri’s father Franco Macri sold the IECSA firm to Calcaterra. According to Tiempo Argentino, Calcaterra decided two months ago to sell the firm in order to distance himself from the growing scandal surrounding its connections to Odebrecht and the disgraced public works giant and alleged frontman for former presidents Néstor and Cristina Kirchner, Lázaro Báez.
IECSA received public works contracts valued at at least US$1.82 billion from the Néstor Kirchner administration, Perfil reported.
President Macri is said to disagree with his cousin over the need to sell off the company.
Prosecutor Franco Picardi also yesterday requested that federal judge Marcelo Martínez de Giorgi place a freeze order of 4.35 million pesos on disgraced former Transport secretary Ricardo Jaime, former Public Works secretary José López, Jorge Rodriguez, and former Odebrecht executives.
According to the prosecution, negotiations were “orientated” in favour of the consortium and “modifications” applied to the original contract. They argue that one company, CAESA, fuelled six billion pesos from offshore accounts into “consulting” services that never took place.
“There were no services whatsoever and the registration of such services has been a mere montage used by intermediaries and frontmen of former pubic servant Ricardo Jaime to receive bribes”, Picardi’s report claimed.