Suspicious transfers raise more questions on Nisman
Alberto Nisman’s ex-wife, Federal Judge Sandra Arroyo Salgado, heads a press conference at the Senate, earlier this year.
United States authorities concerned by US$650,000, deposited between 2012-2014
US authorities have reported “evidence of suspicious activity” involving a bank account held in the name of late former AMIA special prosecutor Alberto Nisman.
Investigators discovered that over US$650,000 was deposited into Nisman’s Merrill Lynch account between 2012 and August, 2014, without no obvious or apparent justification for the transfers. One of the businessmen who made at least one transfer is none other than financial consultant Damián Stefanini, who remains missing after mysteriously disappearing last year, according to an investigation published in the Perfil newspaper yesterday, which cited US documents that showed a total of nine transfers and the amounts involved.
San Isidro Federal Judge Sandra Arroyo Salgado, Nisman’s ex-wife, is presiding over the investigation into Stefani’s disappearance.
Stefanini is on an Interpol watchlist.
An estimated US$666,690 was transferred between September 13, 2012, and August 19, 2014, documents reveal. This information further poses questions for Nisman’s mother Sara Garfunkel, his sister Sandra Nisman and IT expert Diego Lagomarsino since they were also signatories on the account, which the late AMIA prosecutor had power of attorney over. All of them are now being investigated for alleged money-laundering by Federal Judge Rodolfo Canicoba Corral and prosecutor Juan Pedro Zoni.
Another depositor on the list that raises eyebrows is businessman Claudio Picón. Picón’s company, Palermopack SA, owned the model Q5 Audi that Nisman drove — and Nisman held in his safebox a receipt for a US$200,000-transfer Picón sent to his account.
Nisman’s Merril Lynch bank account was first opened on March 7, 2002, but Lagomarsino only became a title holder of the joint bank account in 2014.
Another transfer originates from a company based in Hong Kong, Rodfa Limited, that deposited US$134,975 in Nisman’s account. Rodfa was founded just six months before the transfer was made on March 16, 2012, and its commercial activity is listed as “private.” In addition, Stefanini deposited US$150,000 on October 23, 2012, and Picón transferred US$72,000 between January 24, 2013, and March 19, 2014. However, the US documents do not provide any information about the US$200,000-transfer Picón made to Nisman, with the only evidence being the receipt found in his safe.
Although the transfers reported to be suspicious represent US$542,775, the total amount transferred is being investigated.
US authorities also discovered that Nisman owned an apartment in Ventura, Florida.
According to real estate registers, the unit was purchased in July 2006 for around US$530,000.
He also received transfers from Argentine-American businessman Guillermo Nicolás Salimei, the son of an Argentine businessman operating in Miami. Salimei’s company, Las Tierras USA, deposited US$50,000 into Nisman’s account on August 21, 2014. That same day, he recdeived a US$10,000-deposit from Israel under the name Lungelson, which US authorities reported as suspicious as it is a last name of family relation to the Garfunkels (the last name of Nisman’s mother).
The Salimeis, both the father and the son, have several businesses in Argentina, and Guillermo Nicolás has several businesses registered in Florida. In Buenos Aires they have a company registered as both a financial consultancy and real estate company. On August 22, 2014, Vivaterra SA travel agency from Buenos Aires sent US$50,000 to Nisman. Of the last two depositors, which transferred money in September 2012, one doesn’t appear in the official registers. The other is named Daniel Benayon, who lives in Buenos Aires.
—Herald with online media