Vice President Amado Boudou was indicted Friday for bribery and influence peddling, becoming the first sitting vice president in Argentina’s history to be charged in a criminal case.
Federal judge Ariel Lijo charged Boudou and his business partner, José María Nuñez Carmona, with acquiring bankrupt printing firm Ciccone Calcográfica SA through a shell company with the intention of winning government contracts to print bank notes, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.
The 333-page indictment charged four other suspects of crimes including bribery and influence peddling. Judge Lijo didn’t order any arrests.
The investigation of Boudou began in early 2012 with allegations by journalists and anticorruption activists that Boudou inappropriately tried to help the printing company obtain a generous repayment plan for unpaid taxes when he was economy minister in 2010.
President Cristina Kirchner’s administration expropriated Ciccone (now called Valores de Sudamerica) in mid-2012, saying the state needed more control over money printing.
Boudou, who is also president of the Senate, has denied the charges. He said he won’t resign or ask for a leave of absence.
Argentina’s Congress would have to remove his constitutional immunity before he can be arrested at the order of a judge.
Julie DiMauro is the executive editor of FCPA Blog and can be reached here.