Former top aide to Argentina’s Kirchners tied to Panama Papers

Rendering of Regalia, where former Argentinian aide Sergio Todisco spent close to $11 million on a unit in 2014
Rendering of Regalia, where former Argentinian aide Sergio Todisco spent close to $11 million on a unit in 2014

UPDATED July 8, 8:30 p.m.: The top aide to Argentina’s former president Nestor Kirchner is being investigated after spending close to $65 million on real estate, much of it in South Florida.

A federal prosecutor in Argentina is looking into whether Sergio Todisco and his now ex-wife Elizabeth Ortiz were laundering money for the allegedly corrupt Kirchners and/or their associates, according to the Miami Herald.

Todisco and Ortiz bought units that include a luxury condo at Regalia in Sunny Isles Beach, which Todisco paid $10.7 million for through Dream Golden Enterprises in 2014. Between 2010 and 2015, they picked up condos at Icon Brickell, the St. Regis, Turnberry Ocean Colony, Apogee Beach and 900 Biscayne, according to the Herald.

They spent $21 million on condos, and were tied to other deals totaling $30 million, including commercial properties in South Florida and a multimillion-dollar unit at the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan.

While Todisco was picking up condos, he was also the director of a British Virgin Islands-based firm called Gold Black Limited. The offshore company was included in the Panama Papers, a massive leak of documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca earlier this year.

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Hector Daniel Muñoz, Nestor Kirchner’s secretary and friend, and his wife Carolina Pochetti owned Gold Black Limited, which was a “real estate investment” company, according to the Herald.

Muñoz was Kirchner’s “body man”  a personal valet and right-hand man  and after his term ended, part of Fernandez de Kirchner’s staff, although he resigned only two years later amid accusations of using the position to make personal financial gains. Even Mossack Fonseca withdrew when it discovered Gold Black Limited belonged to Muñoz.

According to an Argentinian prosecutor, Todisco’s income didn’t match up to his condo spending spree. Todisco couldn’t be reached for comment, the Miami Herald said, but he told an Argentinian newspaper in April that he served as the director of Gold Black because he was friends with Muñoz. He and his ex-wife were later replaced in corporate records by Perla Resendez, who lists Miami law firm Roca Gonzalez’s address.

The prosecutor, Juan Manuel Pettigiani, opened an investigation in May. He told the Herald the resignation was to “make it impossible to uncover who the people behind the financial transactions are.” [Miami Herald] – Katherine Kallergis

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Sergio Todisco and Elizabeth Ortiz had purchased property at Turnberry Ocean Club rather than Turnberry Ocean Colony.