The US government is investigating tech giant Hewlett Packard over alleged corruption in Argentina During the second presidential term Cristina Fernandez de Kirchneras it was reconstructed Nation Based on testimonies and official documents in recent weeks.
investigation by Alleged bribery, money laundering and extortion He has his sights set Kirchner Officials From various public agencies such as The Ministry of the Interior and Transport, the Minister of Commerce and the General Directorate of Customsa few local HP executives, at least two Argentine distributors and another company in Uruguay.
The investigation began in August 2018, and the investigation was under our orbit Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for the alleged violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), with repercussions ranging from Washington, Palo Alto, Miami and New York to Buenos Aires and Montevideo.
The outcome of the investigation is uncertain, at the moment. It’s in full development, but HP has already joined a long list of multinational companies investigated in the United States for its Argentina operations. At least a dozen of them ended up admitting that they had paid bribes in the country in the past twenty years; between them, IBM, Siemens, LAN, Odebrecht, and most recently Stericik. But other companies, on the contrary, have been acquitted of guilt, such as Embraer and Pan American Energy.
However, in the case of Hewlett Packard, it could recur. In 2014, he reached an agreement with the Department of Justice and the SEC under which he agreed to pay at least $108 million and provide a special monitoring program for his offenses and crimes in Russia, Poland and Mexico.
Now, investigators are seeking to determine how their local executives have acted since the Fernandez de Kirchner government created Sworn Advance Declarations of Imports (DJAI)in February 2012, and the profits that Hewlett Packard has since made — by itself or through its distributors — with the government.
Nation He consulted the subsidiary of the Argentine company about the investigation. Four days later, HP Inc.’s response came. , the company dedicated to personal computers and printers after splitting Hewlett Packard into two global companies. He replied, “Since this is a matter of litigation issues, we do not comment on it.”
The investigation is underway in several cities in the United States, but it also scored a chapter in Buenos Aires from the last quarter of last year, when they asked Washington, D.C., to cooperate with Argentine authorities to meet with local Hewlett Packard executives and other Argentines.
This demand passed through the Ministry of Justice and reached the Federal Judge Maria Romilda Cervini Last September, plus the second tranche at the end of November. then quote Seven Argentines Appear “voluntarily” with their lawyers, with all the rights and guarantees provided by Argentine law for the accused.
Judge Cervini, however, was not responsible for questioning the seven “supposedly implicated” – that’s how they were identified in an official document I got a copy of Nation– But two prosecutors and two FBI agents, accompanied by an official from the United States Embassy based in Buenos Aires.
The recalls on January 20 and 21 covered the former commercial director of Nación Seguros Sebastian Perez Escobar; To the former Director of Nación Servicios Systems and Technologies Lautaro Emilio Gonzalez; The expert in corporate affairs Horace Colemodio. Also, for four HP executives: Managing Partner until his departure in 2016, Gonzalo Jiazitsian; Former Sales Manager Javier Alberto Mazzio; So are the managers Sergio Vinier and Carlos Huergo Cornejowho later moved to work for Dinatech.
Nation Try to contact the seven who were summoned and who They did not respond to calls and inquiries. Of these, only one has come forward to testify voluntarily before US investigators. It was Lautaro Gonzalezwho answered questions for five hours, also reconstructed Nation (which are reported separately).
Dinatech, meanwhile, is also under scrutiny, as it has been rebuilt Nation. Belongs to the employer Eduardo Wasiwho was dubbed “Randazzito” by the Kirchnerism for years because of his alleged affinity with the then Minister of the Interior and Transport, Florence Randazzo.
Randazzo has always denied any kind of association with Wassey, Dinich or Hewlett-Packard, which he reiterated when asked by Nation. “HP sold us printers and cartridges for some of the dependencies, but they weren’t big purchases, and they were through public bidding,” he said. “As for Dinatech, the biggest link was with the Anses, not with our ministry.”
From the dazzling rise through the Kirchneria, Dinatech has become one of the main suppliers of HP in Argentina. It won contracts and tenders with various government agencies worth at least $134 million between 2010 and 2013, while His wealth increased 1024 times in just ten years. It went from just $75,593 to more than $77.4 million, while its earnings multiplied 2,645 times, according to a profile in 2014.
Randazzo and Wasi met when the former was a Buenos Aires government minister, between 2003 and 2007. In almost all of them, Randazzo was contacted by a collaborator Lord Jimenez.
Nation He tried to find out Wasi’s situation for the past few days, but he hasn’t responded to messages or calls.
It must be clarified that the Argentine justice has already investigated and dismissed Randazzo and Amadou Bodo for favoring Dinatech When they drove the Ministry of the Interior and Ansis. The judge signed it Marcelo Martinez de Giorgi In 2017, when he also benefited from Lourdes Giménez and Wassi. is called, Months before the start of the investigation in the United States.
Meanwhile, not only did the meetings take place in Buenos Aires, it was also reconstructed Nation. At least one Argentine was contacted in the United States for this same investigation, shortly after arriving at Miami International Airport in November 2020.
count, Stephen Isorna He was a partner and general manager of Etertin SA, a company dedicated to selling computer supplies that, like Dinatech, was the official distributor of Hewlett Packard products. That’s why they went looking for him.
“FBI agents knocked on my hotel room door in Miami. I was informed that the federal attorney general wanted to speak to me and since then it was Thanksgiving [por el 26 de noviembre de 2020] We’re coordinating a meeting for two or three days after that,” Isorna said Nation. “In the end, it was the meeting with the attorney general who came from Washington, DC, and the FBI agent. They asked me a lot of questions about DJAI and Etertin, but they focused on 2015, when I actually left Etertin.”
Izorna remembered exactly when they met. And select “Diego Maradona just died.” “They had a lot of information, but it was a bit chaotic, and I spent hours explaining to them what the DJAI system and our entire sector was like. [por el tecnológico] in Argentina. I can’t say it was a coffee conversation because it was never like that with an FBI agent, but what they had was not with me. I can’t tell you more because I promised not to reveal what we talked about, although I didn’t sign any document in this regard either. I’ll just tell you that I’ve since been back to the US six times without problems.
In the meantime, the investigation goes beyond Argentina. The alleged corruption and laundering network will also score a point in Montevideo. A commercial company known as Diverol SA operates there, presenting itself as a company dedicated to importing and distributing computer science that offers the “HP Uruguay Guarantee”.
Nation Tried calling Diverol, but he didn’t answer calls and emails.
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