The Federal Oral Court (TOF) number 4 sentenced this Thursday to eight years in prison for Enrique Blaksley Señorans, nicknamed the “Argentine Madoff”for being considered head of a illicit association that through a pyramid scheme defrauded 318 savers who were tempted to invest in dollars to earn high interest that the leader of “Hope Funds“.
It was a trial of more than two years and Blaksley was detained from April 2018 until last December, when he just managed to leave Ezeiza, where he was with preventive prisonafter the payment of a large sum of money as bail set by Justice.
Blaksley was arrested in 2018 by decision of federal judge María Servini after receiving countless complaints from savers who said they had been scammed.
At the trial stage there are 318 cases, although it is estimated that they reach a thousand because the majority went through other judicial channels such as civil or commercial and many others even appeared in Court to recover what was lost.
The businessman was in charge of the Hope Funds firm that raised money in foreign currencymostly, of savers, and established a pyramid scheme.
The promise was to return the savings with a profit on the return on the funds he supposedly invested, but most of the victims never recovered the investment.
Blaksley, media and powerful: Messi, Federer, Bolt and Ginóbili
Blaksley had a high media profile and was the one who sponsored the arrival in our country of Roger Federer to play a game of tennis with Juan Manuel Del Potro; also a benefit party in which he participated Lionel Messi and even came to sponsor a race starring the sprinter Usain Bolt in full July 9among other events.
He also coordinated a leadership talk with Emanuel Ginóbiliin addition to sponsoring other important sporting events, such as the farewell to former soccer player Ariel Ortega and the visits of the tennis players Venus y Serena Williams.
At the trial, federal prosecutor Abel Córdoba had asked the Court for a 12-year prison sentence for Blaksley for being considered the head of an illegal association, for money laundering and for various infractions for not having been authorized for the activity that he carried out with the collection of savings.
The AFIP, which is a plaintiff in the case, had requested an 18-year prison sentence for the businessman.
Alarm for a new type of scam with credit and debit cards
Along with him, another 15 people were tried, among them the administrative manager of Hope FundsFederico Dolinkué – the person in charge of setting up the companies abroad, where a lot of the savers’ money is supposed to have fled – Alejandro Carozzino and Blaksley’s sister-in-law, Verónica Vega, among others.
The Court sentenced other members of Hope Funds to terms of up to four years in prison, while it acquitted 7 of the defendants.
According to the judicial resolution, the accused members of Hope Funds, which operated between 2009 and 2016, must return a total of 13 million dollars, 42 thousand euros and 32 million pesos to the cheated savers.
The long itinerary that led to the condemnation of the ‘Argentine Madoff’
The complaint in the cause of the so-called “Argentine Madoff”, the businessman Enrique Blaksley Señorans, insisted from the start on reaching a “exemplary sentence” against the accused of committing a multimillion dollar scam in the country.
Blaksley Señorans, imprisoned since April 2018, is accused of having set up a complex network of companies headed by the firm he presided over, Hope Fundsand of having committed scams for up to 1,500 million pesos through false promises.
“The victims of virtual scams are not only the elderly”
“It is the largest fraudulent laundering maneuver in Argentina in terms of attracting private individuals,” explained in 2019 to the agency THAT the plaintiff lawyer who represents various victims, Víctor Varone, in reference to the case.
“It is the first part of the trial, since it is a difficult framework and there was a good job by the prosecutor Alejandra Mangano and the judge María Servini. It will be a long trial and not only an exemplary sentence is expected, but also the recovery of assets” , Varone had detailed.
Why they call him the ‘Argentine Madoff’
From then on, Blaksley Señorans began to be tried, a man unknown to public opinion until he became the symbol of the biggest scam registered in the countrywhich involved dozens of people and which earned him the nickname of “The Argentine Madoff”, in reference to Bernard Madoff.
“Bernie” Madoffan American former stock investor, investment adviser and financier, was sentenced in June 2009 to 150 years in prison (the maximum allowed), accused of having committed the biggest fraud in Wall Street history in charge of a single person: 64,800 million dollars.
His (smaller) Argentine version is Blaksley Señorans, who underwent an extensive oral and virtual trial from the Ezeiza prison, in the south of Greater Buenos Aires.
The new robbery of the century: a gang took over a million dollars and 42 million pesos from apartments
The businessman was charged with the crimes of illicit association, repeated fraud, money laundering and savings collection.
According to the file, they amount to more than 300 victims of the scam committed by the “Argentine Madoff” and his team of collaborators, who promised investors that they would become millionaires.
The victims initiated legal actions before the Justice against Blaksley Señorans, but in the case they also received accusations and were tried Rafael María De La Torre Urizar, Guillermo Müller, Esteban Casco, María Rita Blaksley Señorans, Alexis Dietl, Francisco Blaksley Señorans, Juan Pablo Blaksley , María Paola D´Angelo, Felipe Badino, Olga Susana Masdeut, Damián Gómez Cárdenas and Daniela Sarsa.
Blaksley exhibited a network of contacts and characters from the media environment that tempted investors to invest their savings.
You may also like