Enrique Blaksley Señoransthe businessman known as the “Argentine Bernie Madoff”, was sentenced this Thursday to eight years in prison as head of an illegal association that defrauded more than 400 savers through the firm Hope Fundsbetween 2007 and 2016.
Blaksley Señorans will also have to pay a fine of four times the amount of the “proceeds of crime”, which was calculated at just over 13 million dollars, 42,000 euros and 32 million pesos in the case of fraud, and 2.6 millions of dollars for asset laundering, money that was ordered to be confiscated.
In the ruling, the Federal Oral Court (TOF) 4 also sentenced eight other defendants to terms of between 1 year and 6 months and 4 years; while he acquitted the remaining seven, including direct relatives of the main culprit. The foundations of the sentence will be known on May 9.
The complex strategy of the “Argentine Bernie Madoff” to not pay his debts
The businessman, considered the “boss” of the illegal association, is the only one of the defendants who arrived at the trial detained, although under house arrest. He was imprisoned in the Ezeiza prison and in March 2021 the court granted him a reprieve from preventive detention at a home, a measure that took place in December 2022, when he managed to pay bail.
In May 2021, he testified at trial and tried to improve the situation of the rest of the defendants by assuming that he owned all the shares of Hope Funds, although he stated that “never in his life” did he imagine defrauding his clients. As reported telamhis defense lawyer, Mariano José Varela, announced that he will appeal the ruling, which in the case of his client was issued by majority, with the dissent of Judge Gorini.
For Mariano Moyano, one of the lawyers for the private lawsuits, the verdict had a “little taste”, since the sentences were less than those requested by the accusing parties.
On the other hand, Moyano explained to telam that this ruling is a “first step” since there are more victims abroad in Argentina (close to 800) of which his study represents around 400.
The assets of Enrique Blaksley, the Argentine “Madoff”, were seized
Blaksley Señorans and the Hope Funds scam plot
According to the accusation, Blaksley Señorans led a criminal organization that committed repeated scams related to the illegal collection of money from savers, to later commit crimes related to tax evasion and money laundering.
Both the businessman and the rest of the defendants were sent to trial in July 2020 by decision of federal judge María Servini, who granted the request of federal prosecutor 12, María Alejandra Mangano; and prosecutor María Laura Roteta, from the Prosecutor’s Office for Economic Crime and Money Laundering (Procelac).
According to the investigation, Blaksley, with the collaboration of three of the defendants, would have set up a complex business structure that was used both to defraud private individuals and the national treasuryas indicated.
The illicit association, which operated between 2007 and 2016 and had members who, from their respective roles, contributed to the embezzlement, and also around 60 commercial companies, many of them incorporated in the US and Panama.
ag / ds
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