The ball does stain. 14,000 kilometers from Qatar, the federal courts of San Isidro They record the most recent chapter from the soccer basements. It includes triangulated sales of players, impoverished clubs, laundering, evasion, capital flight and even suspicions of espionage, political lobbying and drug traffickingas reconstructed THE NATION.
The plot has as its first protagonist Uriel Perez Jaurena, a representative of soccer players – at least one of whom is in the World Cup – who ended up in the dock. It was left there after a complaint filed by the Office of the Prosecutor for Economic Crime and Money Laundering (Procelac).
The complaint was left in the hands of the federal judge Sandra Arroyo Salgadowho delegated the investigation to the prosecutor Fernando Dominguez. The investigation progressed quickly, with raids and searches in the Argentine Football Association (AFA), Association footballers and the clubs Racing, Independent, Argentines, Gymnastics and Union.
That was the first step, which led to taking statements from leaders of Boca, Vélez, Argentinos, Huracán, Godoy Cruz and Chicago, which should have explained the suspicious transfer of fortunes with Pérez Jaurena. And to this were added the contributions of Procelac itself and the Federal Administration of Public Revenues (AFIP), which detailed tax inconsistencies of the defendant between 2016 and 2020.
The investigation soon opened worrying indications of economic crime between 2014 and 2019. Since the alleged flight of US$12 million abroad into the official dollarto the alleged evasion of at least $60 million with trout bills. For example, through a firm linked to the Chicago leadership and a mutual assumption with Argentine authorities.
Soon, too, suspicions began to circulate about possible maneuvers of laundering of Mexican drug trafficking by buying players from local clubs. And the triangulation via Uruguay by Pérez Jaurena, who shared projects with Greg Taylor y Christian Bragarnikunavoidable protagonists of Mexican and local soccer.
But when it seemed that he was against the ropes, Pérez Jaurena changed his lawyer. He appointed Marcelo Rocchettiwho previously defended the bosses of the Boca and River barrabravas, Rafael Di Zeo and Alan Schlenkery advised Christian Ritondo in the Buenos Aires Ministry of Security until he resigned after a complaint of Lilita Carrió.
As the weeks go by, Rocchetti filed a criminal complaint against Arroyo Salgado and Domínguez, and achieved his departures. They were replaced by the judge Lino Mirabelli and the prosecutor Diego Iuspa. And the criminal case? It started to get complicated.
Rocchetti advanced first against Arroyo Salgado. She stated that the judge maintains a manifest enmity with him that would have led her to lose her impartiality in the investigation and, therefore, affect the defense in the trial of her client, Pérez Jaurena. In April of this year, a federal chambermaid, Alberto LugonesHe admitted his proposal and separated the judge.
The next milestone occurred days ago, when the magistrate who replaced Arroyo Salgado, Lino Mirabelli, resumed the investigation in his hands and separated Domínguez. He thus admitted the claim of Rocchetti, who accused the prosecutor of violating the defense guarantees of his client.
“Not only Mr. Prosecutor did not do what was necessary so that the lawyer [Rochetti] could access the file and disregarded the directive given by the magistrate formerly in charge of the investigation [por Arroyo Salgado]but also ignored the specific instruction issued by the Appeal in this same process, an attitude that prevented the party from registering and, therefore, participating in the testimonial statements ordered, despite having specifically requested it,” Mirabelli stated.
For prosecutor Domínguez, his removal is arbitrary, for which he appealed. He maintains that Rocchetti always had physical access to the proceedings, that everything was uploaded to the Lex 100 computer system and that all the evidence measures would be reproducible during an eventual oral trial. But the Prosecutor’s Office knows that the chances of his appeal are slim.
Meanwhile, Rocchetti plans to take another step in the coming weeks. And he already gave an advance on the file. He posited that the Procelac began to investigate Pérez Jaurena after receiving an anonymous letter that would be “practically a carbon copy” of the one that led to the opening of the criminal case against the trade unionist Juan Pablo “Pata” Medina which led to his arrest. Namely, that the offensive against his client would have come from the Federal Intelligence Agency (AFI).
“I said it and I reaffirm it: This was an intelligence operation,” Rocchetti told LA NACION.. “But unlike what happened with ‘Pata’, this did not respond to political motivations, but to personal business of the then head of the AFI, Gustavo Arribas, representative of soccer players. His son went to see Pérez Jaurena so that they could become partners and since my client refused, then this reprisal came”.
consulted by THE NATION, the legal study that represents Arribas indicated that they did not plan to appear in the file these days. “We asked our client and he indicated that he does not know or have a relationship with Pérez Jaurena and that it is ‘more of the same’, one more lie that is said against him.”
But Rocchetti is excited about advancing on that path, supported by the recent statement of an AFI agent before the federal judge Marcelo Martinez de Giorgiwho investigates illegal espionage during the presidency of Mauricio Macri. Asked who he spied on during those years, the agent replied: “I asked many [a quiénes debía seguir] and on some occasion they told me that they were player representatives ”.
THE NATION he tried to consult prosecutor Domínguez, who declined to respond. But from his Prosecutor’s Office they rejected being or having been the spearhead of an operation. They recalled that Procelac has the obligation to investigate all the complaints it receives, even if they are anonymous, and that it did so for seven months. Only when he verified that he had a foothold did he file a formal complaint before the Justice. And that the Prosecutor’s Office requested data from the AFI and the federal Court of La Plata that is investigating the alleged persecution against “Pata” Medina to verify if the anonymous “responded to illegal activity of the intelligence services.”
Together with prosecutor Domínguez, they recalled the obstacles that arose during this investigation. “Until now, the challenge for prosecutors was to take ‘sensitive’ investigations to the oral trial. From this case it is that they are not even allowed to investigate ”.