Fact Check: Argentina

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The rental of Alto Calafate dropped from 10 million to 800,000


Tuesday, April 14, 2015
By Nicolás Wiñazki and Ana Baron

Since August 2013, the Kirchners have been renting their largest hotel, the “Alto Calafate” for 800,000 pesos a year. The company paying that amount is called Idea SA The presidential family learned to do better business with its enterprise: between 2010 and 2011, for example, Valle Mitre paid them rent more than 10 million pesos for the same hotel, as reported by La Nacion. This abrupt loss of profits may not be the product of a bad negotiation. The owner of Valle Mitre is Lázaro Báez. Only in 2013, the businessman began to be investigated for money laundering in Argentina, Uruguay and Switzerland. Around that time the Kirchners removed him from of financial management of their tourist businesses.

The investigation on the case of “the K money trail” began to move into the accounts of those hotels: it emerged that Lazaro’s companies had paid for hundreds of rooms in these accommodations that eventually no one used, a resource often used by those trying to launder money.

Today, the accounts of the presidential hotels are under investigation by Judge Claudio Bonadio, in the case known as “Hotesur”: that is the name of the Kirchners’ company that owns the “Alto Calafate”.

Now it is known that the one who replaced Baez in the rental and management of the Kirchners’ hotels, through Idea SA, was Osvaldo “Bochi” Sanfelice, one of the partners of the eldest son of the President, Maximo

Clarin obtained several “Review Reports” on the finances of Idea SA, conducted in 2014 by the accountant Hugo Carlos Alvarez, who was at the time a trustee of the Central Bank. His firm in Rio Gallegos is located at Avenida Néstor Carlos Kirchner 952. Documents from Idea SA describe their business as “a hotel chain”.

It happens that the K-family’s company rents out the “Alto Calafate”, and two of its four hotels, “Las Dunas” and “La Aldea”, to it.

The ties between the Kirchners and the main entrepreneurs who benefited from billionaire public contracts are crisscrossed in the finances of their hotels.

According to the accounting documents of Idea SA, this company also rents and manages the inn “El Returno”, of the leader of the Indalo Group, Cristóbal López, owner of gaming licenses, media companies and road concessions.

The Idea accounting records show that Sanfelice rents the “Alto Calafate” for 100,000 pesos a month, plus 10 percent of the canon of the proceeds in the same period. The agreement includes a “pardon” from April to August each year, Idea SA is exempt from paying for the use of the K hotel.

Except from the economic point of view, the agreement of the presidential family with Idea SA, of Sanfelice, is similar to the one signed with Valle Mitre, of Baez.

Like Lazaro did, “Bochi”‘s company also rents and manages hotels of the Kirchners called “Las Dunas” in El Calafate; and “La Aldea” in El Chalten.

Now with Justice sniffing your finances, Kirchner resigned millions in profits at the location of these companies.

According to spread the daily La Nación, between 2010 and 2011, Baez was paid to the President and his sons more than 4.3 million pesos to manage those last two hotels.

The records of Idea SA, which this newspaper had access to, indicate that this company now manages “La Aldea” in exchange for 20,000 pesos per month plus 10 percent of the canon of the proceeds every 30 days. Sanfelice doesn’t pay rent for “La Aldea” between April and August.

Clarin learned that the rent Idea SA pays for managing “Las Dunas” in El Calafate, is similar to what it paid for “Las Dunas”. Baez paid a lot more. And the Kirchners also earned more from him too. Now it’s the opposite. Why? The courts are seeking an answer to that question.

View Original Article: El alquiler del hotel Alto Calafate bajó de $10 millones a 800 mil