Alberto Fernández: I left everything and I took nothing with me 0:58

(CNN Spanish) ––

Alberto Fernández, former president of Argentina, rejected this Thursday the investigation that the justice system initiated against him for alleged misappropriation of public funds linked to the contracting of insurance in state agencies, based on an article published by the newspaper Clarín on Sunday.

The former president denied having made arrangements with officials to contract insurance from a state company through intermediaries who received commissions in exchange.

“I have not stolen anything, and I have not participated in any negotiations or negotiations.

This is not a negotiation,” Fernández said in an interview with Radio La Red.

Fernández has a notable difference compared to almost all the other former presidents of the country: he has no corruption charges.

But that could change if the case, the start of which was reported on Thursday, is successful.

On Wednesday, lawyer and journalist Silvina Martínez, former advisor to national representative Margarita Stolbizer, filed a complaint with the Argentine justice system based on what Clarín had reported.

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The Julián Ercolini court, where the complaint was filed, has already promoted the investigation in the hands of federal prosecutor Ramiro González, who requested the first measures of evidence this Thursday.

According to the complaint, “at the end of 2021, the then President Fernández ordered that all state insurance had to go through Nación Seguros (a company dependent on the Banco de la Nación Argentina, which is state-owned) which, in turn, hired a broker already private businesses".

The complaint points out a practice that supposedly took place in the National Social Security Administration (Anses), one of the state agencies with the largest budget in the State because it manages retirements and social aid.

They maintain that “a business of 20,000 million pesos per year (almost US$ 24 million at the official exchange rate) and 300 million (US$ 356,000) in monthly commissions with insurance and intermediary commissions was discovered.”

The largest amount, the complaint explains, “is what Anses pays to [Banco de la] Nación per year to insure the lives of retirees and pensioners to whom it gives loans: since 2011 it has been granting them without this insurance.”

But he also highlights that through this operation "Nación subcontracted other insurers and, as a bridge between the two state organizations, a broker, with a commission three times higher than the market: 17%."

This scheme, the complaint maintains, was repeated in other state agencies.

The complaint indicates that this alleged fraudulent maneuver could be carried out thanks to a decree that Fernández issued at the end of 2021 forcing all state entities to contract insurance through the Banco Nación insurer.

According to what the former president told the newspaper La Nación this Thursday, the rule sought to end intermediation, as it indicated that contracting should be done directly to end the system that was implemented during the government of Mauricio Macri, which, in his opinion, It gave rise to “many businesses.”

“There is no justification for a state agency to use an intermediary when there is a decree that requires contracting with that company.

The intermediary works when they can advise you on different types of insurance or which company is best for you.

But here there was a mandatory contract by the State with the state insurance company, so there is no justification for using a manager, an intermediary,” Martínez said in an interview with CNN.

According to what the complainant told CNN, the alleged strategy would require three parties: “A public official, president of the Nation, who creates the obligation to contract with a certain company.

On the other hand, at the other end is the president of this state company, who allows or endorses the use of the figure of the intermediary in the agreements.

And the third leg is complemented by these intermediaries, who are only two, who appeared in the contracts as intermediaries, charging a commission higher than the market value and ending this triangle that harmed the State's coffers."

The complaint targets only Fernández and the former head of Nación Seguros, Alberto Pagliano, who, according to the complainant, is “a friend of Fernández since his beginnings in the insurance world in the 90s.”

Fernández was Superintendent of National Insurance during the first presidency of Carlos Menem.

The prosecutor decided to include in his investigation only one of the two intermediaries identified in the journalistic investigation.

This is Héctor Martínez Sosa, very close to Fernández: he is the partner of his historic secretary and one of the largest insurance producers (advisors) in the country, according to what the former president told La Nación to justify the presence of this person in the contracts. and try to get away from the scandal.

The other intermediary indicated in the Clarín note was not included in the judicial investigation.

CNN is trying to contact both Pagliano and Héctor Martínez Sosa and their lawyers, but since this article was published on Sunday in Clarín, so far none of them have expressed themselves publicly or in any other media.

This alleged fraudulent maneuver that is reported was discovered, according to the newspaper Clarín, by Osvaldo Giordano, the official put in charge of Anses by President Javier Milei for supporting the former governor of Córdoba Juan Schiaretti.

CNN is seeking to contact Giordano.

Giordano, who is one of the most recognized social security specialists among Argentine economists, was Schiaretti's Minister of Finance, and the Cordoban's support for Milei, during the second round of the 2023 presidential elections, caused fissures in his coalition.

Giordano suspended those contracts, but was fired a few days ago by Milei after his wife, who is a national deputy, voted against the so-called “omnibus law” promoted by the Executive.

He lasted just over two months in office.

Alberto Fernandez