A network of 400 ghost companies, used by the former governor of Veracruz, Javier Duarte de Ochoa, to divert 3 thousand 617 million pesos, was revealed in an investigation conducted by Animal Politico y Mexicanos Contra la Corrupción y Impunidad (MCCI)
In the investigation, he points to Víctor Manuel López Gachuz, a public accountant, restaurateur and socialite in Veracruz, as the key figure behind the network of ghost companies, and in which ASISMEX, an entity accused by the INE of illegally financing the PRI in the 2012 presidential election.
The network of phantom companies that is revealed in this new investigation is very different in structure and operation that is currently being investigated by the Attorney General's Office (PGR) and for which Javier Duarte is imprisoned, according to the text.
After a year of research, Mexicans Against Corruption and Impunity (MCCI) and Animal Politica identified that the network linked to Duarte is seven times larger than what was known until now and the amount of embezzlement is four times greater.
This network is actually made up of 400 companies, of which 57 obtained public contracts for 3 thousand 617 million pesos. Until before these new data, only the existence of 38 phantom companies linked to each other in Veracruz was known, and the amount of embezzlement amounted to 905 million pesos.
The ghost factory
The information, taken from hundreds of minutes of several Public Registry of Commerce (RPC), reveals that Lopez Gachuz is a partner and legal representative of three companies and two cooperatives, in which shares or shares with dozens of people linked to the 400 companies of your network.
For example, Grupo Balcano -which received contracts for 194 million pesos- is owned by Fabiola Jacqueline Mundo González, an accountant associated to Gustavo Adolfo Gutiérrez Gámiz and Mauricio Bayron González, collaborators and, in turn, members of López Gachuz in six more companies
Another example: López Gachuz was the legal representative of Corporativo Utilitas, a company that had as shareholders and board members the owners of nine other companies in the ghost network, including Provideri, Comergo and Comercializadora Manduca, which together obtained contracts from the government of Duarte for 42 million 506 thousand pesos.
These companies, in turn, connect with more. One of the alleged owners of Manduca is a shareholder of both Pefraco and Gomgo, who obtained public contracts with the Government of Duarte for 327 million pesos.
One of the shareholders of Utilitas was Joel Solano Domínguez, whom the INE identified as one of the characters that contributed money to the ghost company Asismex that financed the PRI in 2012.
This type of connections are multiplied in the network of 400 companies, as reported by the Political Animal reporters in the comparison of hundreds of minutes.
In the documentary review it was also determined that only 57 of the 400 companies obtained contracts from the government of Veracruz between 2010 and 2016. The rest of the companies served as comparsas of the tenders and were used for the purchase of real estate or for alleged washing operations of money or tax evasion.
Of the 57 companies with contracts, 30 have been issued by the Tax Administration Service (SAT) as nonexistent for simulating commercial transactions. Among them, are the 10 companies that received the most money from the Government of Veracruz.
Who is López Gachuz?
Nationally, López Gachuz is a low profile character, but in Veracruz he is widely known. He was born on August 2, 1961 in Mexico City and at least until 2008 he had a residence in the Costa de Oro subdivision, one of the most exclusive of Boca del Rio.
This 56-year-old accountant, who likes to rub elbows and socialize with the Veracruz elite, has been singled out by Xóchitl Tress Rodríguez, a former collaborator of Javier Duarte, as one of the participants in a meeting where he agreed to buy a house for her.
This purchase occurred in May 2014 and was made in the restaurant El Azafrán, owned by López Gachuz. In this operation participated Tarek Abdalá, currently a Federal Deputy, but an official in the Government of Javier Duarte the first four years of his government.
López Gachuz was the owner of El Azafrán, a Spanish cuisine establishment, which at least until its closure, due to an alleged remodeling in 2017, was one of the most popular for lunch and dinner in the port.
But the main business of the public accountant was not the restaurant, but his office GLG Asesores Empresariales, which -according to its website- is a firm with almost 30 years of experience, dedicated to providing "advice to entrepreneurs in different branches".
This office operated in parallel a system of creation of phantom companies that are capable of issuing real invoices and that are used for diverse illicit purposes.
Through this network of ghost companies, the firm obtained public resources, even without contracts or feigning competition in various tenders, with its own companies.
Animal Politico and MCCI sought the position of accountant Víctor Manuel López Gachuz on their participation in the creation of this network since September 2017, but until the closing of this text there was no response, the research indicates.
Even reporters went on three separate occasions to the office located on 123 Sahagún Street, in the Virginia Division of the Port of Veracruz, the last visit made last March, where the security guard was given a brief detailing the events that are narrated in this journalistic investigation, but still the interview request was not answered.
The first signs
From February 13, 2017, MCCI provided the first indications that the creator of the scheme of the ghost companies of Veracruz was the accountant López Gachuz, from the referred office.
On that date, MCCI published that the LG Asesores Corporativos SC office, led by accountant López Gachuz, had participated in the Conejobús operation, a transportation project undertaken by the former governor of Chiapas Juan Sabines, current consul in Orlando, Florida. in which three companies linked to the ghost network of Veracruz obtained contracts for 118 million pesos between 2010 and 2012.
Mauricio Bayrón González, employee of López Gachuz, was the one who registered with the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI), the Conejobús brand, as legal representative of the Tuxtla Urban Transport System SA de CV (SITUTSA), a company whose majority shareholder is the Government of Chiapas.
Within this new network of companies, Bayrón González has links with other prestanombres. For example, it is associated with Fabiola Jacqueline Mundo González in the cooperative society SOPS, who in turn owns the ghost firm Grupo Balcano SA de CV, to whom Duarte's government gave contracts for 60.7 million pesos.
The company with the most contracts ... is an aesthetic
Previous reports documented that Abastecedora Romcru SA de CV had received contracts for 180 million 913 thousand pesos. However, this investigation revealed that the real amount of assignments to this company more than doubled, adding up to 456 million 798 thousand pesos. In addition, it was the one that monopolized the highest amount.
Its partners, Raúl Antonio Chirino Escobar and Francisco Fernández Sánchez, chose as fiscal domicile a small house located on Calle Carlos Cruz number 169, in the popular area of downtown Puerto.
Abastecedora Romcru was incorporated on March 24, 2012 in Córdoba with 13 social objects, among which the commercialization of all kinds of articles and goods stood out.
The partners of Romcru are linked, in turn, with dozens of other companies that, when reviewing the names of those who appear in their minutes, always lead López Gachuz and his collaborators.
An example: Francisco Fernández Sánchez, a founding partner of Romcru, is a partner in the ghost company EMGENET SA DE CV together with another prestanombres plus: Humberto Bárcenas Luna.
In turn, Bárcenas Luna is a partner of the company BARCELU SA DE CV where one of the legal representatives is Fabiola Jacqueline Mundo González. This woman is also one of the several shareholders of a company named SOPS SC DE RL DE CV where Gustavo Adolfo Gutiérrez Gamiz is also a partner, who is one of the accountants partners of the Gachuz office.
In this company, SOPS SC DE RL DE CV is appointed as surveillance commissioner Mauricio Bayrón González, a lawyer whose connection with Gachuz has already been documented by MCCI in past reports.
Another of the links is from another branch of the same network: Francisco Fernández Sánchez is a watchdog in the INDUSTRIAS FRAPIN company where the second shareholder is Griselda Sae Blanco. This woman is also a shareholder in the company SEGURISIGUENPRE SA DE CV where the other partner is Jacqueline Terrón Antonio.
Jacqueline Terrón, like all the names described, is another fake entrepreneur. Jacqueline Terrón was taken by Gachuz and Tarek to the restaurant El Azafrán to sign a transfer of money from one of the companies where she was a partner and a proxy (Grupo Comercial Terrami) to Xochitl Tress (then Javier Duarte's girlfriend) and could use that money to buy a house. Confession made by Jacqueline in a ministerial declaration in the Prosecutor's Office of Veracruz.
So, what really is on Calle Carlos Cruz number 169? "Tabs $ 120", "Cut more sprained $ 100", "Eyebrow design and $ 70", could be read on three fluorescent cardboard stuck at the ends of a narrow facade, where it was assumed was Romcru, the largest supplier of the government of Duarte , mention the investigation.
In that place, where there must have been a large company or at least offices with some kind of infrastructure and work team that showed the power of a company with millionaire contracts, there has only been an aesthetic with a modest entrance of no more than 1 meter and 50 centimeters wide.
A worn canvas tied to a nearby railing has served to announce the business: "Aesthetics Unisex D'Flor". There is nothing else.
"The truth has never been any company", confirmed Flor Urgiel Gertrudis, the one in charge of aesthetics. "Some time they were bringing receipts in the name of that company, but we thought they were not here. My sister told me that they came to ask, that TV people came, but that's it. "
He said that Hacienda personnel visited them to confirm that Abastecedora Romcru was there, but he did not remember the date. She did not know that the company registered in that address was the one that obtained the most money from the Government of Veracruz in the time of Duarte.
"A little? They would have given us a little to minimum fix! Not to the case, "she said with laughter, incredulous, when she heard that a company that used aesthetic management received more than 400 million pesos in contracts.
El primer contrato a Romcru se otorgó al mes siguiente de haber sido constituida. Se lo asignó la Secretaría de Finanzas el 25 de abril de 2012 para abastecer paquetes de material pedagógico por 5 millones 800 mil pesos. Luego, la misma dependencia le entregó de manera directa, recursos para supuestos programas de capacitación y evaluación de los empleados por un monto de 186 millones de pesos.
La Secretaría de Agricultura firmó 18 contratos con Abastecedora Romcru, en los que simularon la venta de “paquetes de maíz” por 43 millones de pesos, mientras que el DIF Veracruz compró artículos electrodomésticos, a la misma compañía, por 4 millones de pesos.
Romcru had such a varied range of services that, at some point, the Government Secretariat signed a contract with it for 11.6 million pesos for staff training in 212 Civil Registry offices. In addition, it also sold building materials for 80 million pesos distributed in 14 contracts to the same unit.
In the heart of WTC
For this new investigation, 13 addresses of companies established in Mexico City were visited, as well as 18 addresses in the state of Veracruz, five of them in Xalapa, where more than 150 companies in the network should be located. But none of these places could find companies in operation.
In the case of the addresses in Mexico City, among which there is even an office within the World Trade Center and others in Polanco, correspond in reality to "virtual offices", which are spaces that are rented to house the fiscal address of multiple companies, but without actually having any operation on the site.
Among those companies is Anunsa SA de CV and Vybebien Inmobiliaria Sa de CV, whose fiscal address is a virtual office on the 33rd floor of WTC. After confirming the above in 2017, the team of reporters returned to the building in February and when they tried to enter they were told that at the request of "a company" they no longer had access to any of the floors.
They register more than 351 million pesos in payments to mass media
Morgarver SA de CV, incorporated in Medellín, Veracruz, on April 27, 2012, had seven social objects, but the main one was the development and sale of all types of print, audiovisual, broadcasting or any other printed media.
In the report published by Animal Político in May 2016, it had been documented that its address was at Santo Domingo Street 639, Colonia Forming Home, of the port of Veracruz. The site is a house with an evident deterioration whose occupant, who did not want to give his name, said that it is a house and is not the headquarters of any company.
This company obtained 270 million pesos in contracts with the DIF Veracruz, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Culture, but the money has remained in limbo, since the SAT also reported it as a ghost on October 25, 2016.
Among the payments reported via transparency by the aforementioned departments, 10 whose description appeared as "means" stand out. These contracts for more than 163 million pesos were covered by the Ministry of Finance.
But this was not the only company with which payments to the media were triangulated: the Ministry of Finance allocated another 351 million 549 thousand pesos in payments to the media, all signed with six companies of which five were reported as nonexistent by the SAT.
Via Access to Information, the same agency reported that Comercializadora Monmar SA de CV - classified as a façade by the SAT on October 16, 2017 - received contracts for 67 million 327 thousand pesos and the concept of contracting was, again, for "media".
The same happened with the company Publi Zarey -reported as a ghost in the SAT lists on July 25, 2017-, which received more than 9 million pesos under the same concept. Merca Carrey SA de CV, obtained 68 million pesos and has also been classified as nonexistent.
In the case of the company Desarrolladores Mercalim SA de CV, the Guarantee Department reported eight contracts signed on December 31, 2014, for "payment of invoices to media" for 39 million 535 thousand pesos. Like the aforementioned, the SAT reported it as a ghost on October 25, 2016.
The last company in the network that reported payments for dissemination of government activities in the media was Logística Comercial Comerlogi SA de CV. They gave her just over 3 million pesos.
Although it was not reported by the SAT as non-existent, Comerlogi's home is located at Heroismo 735-1. Colonia Miguel Hidalgo, in Veracruz. In this there are no areas with industrial buildings, only houses and vacant lots.
Ghost hand in Veracruz rehabilitation centers
The companies Rinoxa SA de CV, Cymaned SA de CV and Comergut SA de CV, the three declared by the SAT as nonexistent, received contracts that together exceeded 68 million pesos. His work was not a minor thing; On the contrary, "reviews, analyzes and diagnoses" were commissioned in 17 penitentiaries in Veracruz. However, in the official documentation obtained via transparency, there are no explanations about those services.
The three companies signed the contracts with the Government Secretariat on the same day: Monday, December 10, 2012.
Rinoxa SA de CV collected 22 million 850 thousand pesos for evaluation and diagnostic services of the systems, procedures, equipment and security measures in the 17 rehabilitation centers of the state, as reported by the Secretariat of the Government of Veracruz via access to information.
This company registered the number 1335 of Cervantes y Padilla Street as the fiscal domicile in the Port of Veracruz. But in this place there is no company or an office. No. At the corner of Calle Cervantes and Padilla number 1335, in the Colonia Virgilio Uribe, there is only the grocery store "Ody".
"They come by the name of a ghost company? Yes, they came from Mexico, until the PGR came here to take an act last year (...) They come from the Treasury at all times to know if this company is here, but this store is more than 20 years old. They came about six months ago and said they were not going to bother us again, but they are still coming from the Treasury, "the woman in charge of the store said last February, more than three years ago.
Cymaned SA de CV was the second company that signed a contract for more than 23 million pesos, under the concept of "Service of review, analysis, diagnosis and detection of opportunities 17 Ceresos".
While Comergut SA de CV obtained more than 23 million pesos for a contract in which it offered services of study and diagnosis and soil mechanics of the lands in which the 17 Centers of Social Readaptation of the State are located.
They prefer not to talk
While most of the people who were consulted for this investigation agreed to speak when they were told that their homes or names were related to the scheme of ghost companies linked to López Gachuz and Javier Duarte, there were some others who refused to testify.
The companies Comercializadora Pagoli and Landun Freiheit share the same address: the house located at 1473 Calle 2 de Abril, in Colonia Reforma, in Veracruz.
This house with two floors, with two side doors marked with the same number and a single family living inside, is also the headquarters of the companies Wenver Empresarial, Grios SA de CV and Pioneers in the SC Consulting.
The woman who lives there, but who refused to identify herself, preferred not to answer the reporters' questions about the companies registered at her home.
Pagoli, which is registered right there, is one of the three companies in which César Álvarez Alegría, another collaborator of López Gachuz, has participated as a partner and / or legal representative.
On that same street April 2, but in 1467, there is registered an address that belongs to Mrs. Virginia Cano, a woman who appears as a partner of at least 12 different companies, but that number does not exist.
Among the people who accepted to speak for this report and who now share a direction with ghost companies or who even appear as shareholders of companies with millionaire profits, a question that has become collective hovers: Where did all those millions of pesos end up?
The nine dependencies behind the new detours
The Ministry of Finance of Veracruz was the unit that diverted the largest amount of resources, with thousand 459 million 180 thousand pesos allocated to 27 ghost companies, according to the responses to about 300 requests for access to information that were sent by this reporters team to each of the dependencies of the Veracruz government.
Wow!Wow!And I will bet this is only the tip of the iceberg!They could probably put him away for 100 million years!I will bet that those people living in those single family homes knew nothing but the legal addresses were probably taken from municipalities to register these so called companies.Little do these people know they could be implicated.I read that they are possibly going to try to extradite Karime,Duarte's wife from the U.K. for stealing $5 million!(Why steal a little when you can steal a lot as long as EPN gets his cut?)Apparently she's living in some swank area of London where the rents range from $80,000 to $100,000 dollars a month so obviously she has more than $5 million to her name.Let me guess the rest if she doesn't get deported:She will be like those privileged moneyed gentlemen that will hitch up with some guy that looks good on her arm that will be 20+ years younger than her so obviously it's for the money and will divorce her and reap half her fortune.Happens all the time!What comes around goes around!
My friend sent me some political jokes and they are quotes some from centuries ago and I couldn't help but think about Mexico to most of them how true they rang.Since it is so close to the Mexican election, 2 weeks away I thought it appropriate at this time and even have a chuckle while thinking of your favourite Mexican Politician.
SUBJECT: FWD: WHAT IS POLITICS????
There are many truths here.
"Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other."
~Oscar Amringer, "the Mark Twain of American Socialism."
"I offered my opponents a deal: if they stop
telling lies about me, I will stop telling
the truth about them."
~Adlai Stevenson, campaign speech, 1952..
"A politician is a fellow who will lay down
your life for his country."
~Texas Guinan, 19th century American businessman
"I have come to the conclusion that politics is too serious a matter to be left to the politicians."
~Charles de Gaulle, French general & politician
"Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to change the locks."
~Doug Larson (English middle-distance runner who won gold medals at the 1924
Olympic Games in Paris, 1902-1981)
"We hang petty thieves and appoint the bigger thieves to public office."
~Aesop, Greek slave & fable author
"Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber."
~Plato, ancient Greek Philosopher
"Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river."
~Nikita Khrushchev, Russian Soviet politician
"When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become PM. I'm beginning to believe it."
~Quoted in 'Clarence Darrow for the Defense' by Irving Stone.
"Politicians are people who, when they see light at the end of the tunnel, go out and buy some more tunnel."
~John Quinton, American actor/writer
"What happens if a politician drowns in a river? That is pollution.
What happens if all of them drown?
That is a solution ....!!!
Author unknown and known!
Politicians are like diapers,they are changed often and then garbage.
Reforma: "The Boss" Diego helped with land of 100 million to Padrés to get out of prison
Padrés will be able to obtain his freedom in the process that is followed by tax fraud with the payment of a bond, for what the former presidential candidate offered as a mortgage a property with a value of more than 400 million pesos.
Just last Thursday the Senate requested the Federal Attorney Office to take charge of the investigations into the former governor of Zacatecas, Miguel Alonso Reyes, he is being investigated for stealing 300 million pesos through a bunch of ghost companies.
Back in the day when he was still governor he was very critiziced for spending the equivalent of the State's yearly budget for social housing in fixing up the official residence in the style of a luxury hotel in las Vegas, the Bellagio? or some name similar.
It was also said that he was threatening people into selling him the properties he wanted, built a dam in one of his ranchs with public money and left the villagers, farmers and ranchers downstream without water, also lots of noise about being paid by mining companies, Goldcorp and another one owned by Slim.
Yes, whoever you send it to, clicks via your email. I've tried multiple ways around it, including clearing cookies, so it appears they do an IP based count, as someone else in my household gets it too, and we figured out that if one person clicks on it, everyone is affected.