Bullrich and his “VIP lunches”, in the spotlight: the Government seeks to intervene his Institute for alleged irregularities

In the midst of a political climate dominated by the electoral campaign, the Government came out with the top caps against the president of the PRO, patricia bullrich. It is that in an opinion, the General Inspectorate of Justice (IGJ) established that the leader used the Institute for Strategic Security Studies (IEES), which he chairs to finance his electoral campaignsomething not provided for in the object of its statute, authorized by the State.

It is because of that he pushes a complaint to investigate the alleged irregularities and seek to intervene the Board of Directors. Close up of Bullrich rejecting the accusation and they talked aboutpolitical operation“.

The opinion bears the signature of the head of the IGJ, Ricardo Nissen, and maintains that “we are in the presence of a non-profit association through which, unfolding an activity that is supposedly lawful in origin, but that becomes illegal due to its real development and purpose.” This is because, according to the document, “the economic support of a political campaign is sought.”

In other words, they detected an alleged irregularity in which the Institute has carried out “an activity oriented towards the fulfillment of an indissolubly different object to the one that competes with the civil association”.

The body dependent on the Ministry of Justice began to investigate the civil association chaired by Bullrich after the publication in PERFIL and other media of articles that made reference to the head of the PRO and candidate for president He charged 50,000 pesos to have lunch with her.

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These funds, as this medium mentioned, received through the Institute for Strategic Security Studies (IEES), which is now in the spotlight.

We detected that they had fiscal years in deficit and could not pay current expenses and suddenly, especially since 2021, income increases exponentially based on seminars, lunches, explained in a diffuse way, and reaches almost 90 million pesos,” Manuel Cuiñas Rodríguez, deputy inspector of the IGJ, told PROFILE.

According to the resolution, something that is not new was discovered: the use of that organization for the development of the political campaign. However, there they detected an illegality and parameters that suggest the existence of alleged irregularities, based on the fact that in the corporate purpose the association pursues studies on security and related issues, but nothing linked to party political activity.

The IES accepts donations through its website.

Also, detect a “exponential growth of income and expenses (of money)” since the Institute “went, in a few months, from not having funds to cover current expenses, to raising more than $90 million.”

From lack of funds to “exponential” growth

The latter is reflected, for example, in the fact that the meeting minutes of the Board of Directors No. 184 establish that “it is necessary to solve the economic question of the institutesince it is necessary to face the payment of rent, expenses and the services that this entails”. Below, the resolution maintains that in this context Bullrich asked those present “that are campaigned internally and externally to provide funds to finance current expenses”.

However, by 2022 the income to the Institution exceeds 85 million pesos: the majority ($66,250,306) for research, training, conferences and seminars; $5 million for contributions from individuals; $6 million for legal entities and the same amount for fixed-term deposit interest. That economic growth is suspicious for the agency.

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In the opinion, the IGJ cannot have stopped to analyze the financial statements and other legal documentation necessary for the regular operation of the association. However, there were missing: The financial statements for the year ended 12/31/2019 were not available. nor the details of the source of income and other documentation. Days later, the accountant Silvia Turetzky sent the information and talked about “an inadvertent omission”.

Patricia Bullrich’s IEES income curve

“We noticed many coincidences regarding the proselytism at the national level of the pre-candidate for the PRO, who is president of the Civil Association. This entity covered her travel expenses both within the country and abroad.“said Cuinas Rodríguez.

In relation to the income curve, the resolution maintains that in 2016 $20,200 entered but the Institute had expenses of $36,710; in 2017 the income was $333,600 and the expenses reached $225,369. For 2018, that amount rose to $795,256.

The striking thing happens from 2019: the financial year will end on December 31 of that year, it follows that income was $741.93 while expenses amounted to $297,364. In 2020, the income was $488,989, “an amount made up, almost entirely, of contributions and donations”; and in 2021 there was a jump in income up to $7,842,106 with donations of $1,700,000 and expenses above $3.9 million.

There, the IGJ focuses: according to the resolution “among the activities of the memory of the exercise there are no courses and/or seminarsbut in a diffuse way they indicate that they worked ‘strongly in the management of resources through the realization of seminars and lunches with different sectors of the economy”.

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Nearby Bullrich described the official resolution as a “political operation.”

Lastly, the balance sheet for the 2022 period was not presented, but the state agency was able to access copies of the daily book, which made it possible to establish that there were revenues of 85 million pesos: of that total, $66.2 million for training, conferences and seminars; $5 million for individual contributions; $6 million in contributions from legal entities and more than $6 million in interest on fixed-term deposits.

The considerations of the IGJ

Given this scenario, Nissen, head of the IGJ, resolved that the Institute’s intervention be promoted “immediately” “requiring the displacement of the members of its Board of Directors. Also that the Institute’s president be denounced in criminal and electoral headquarters and the members of its previous and current Board of Directors due to “the possible violation, through its verified and detailed actions of what is regulated by law.”

We understand that there is a violation of the rules of the financing law for political parties. And that no civil association that has altruistic fines can be used as support to finance a political campaign. That is not what is inside the objects or what was authorized by the State,” added the official.

Near Bullrich they talk about an “operation”

After the appearance of the resolution, PROFILE consulted sources close to the president of the PRO. They indicated that it is a “political operation” and they explained that it is an Institute that has been operating “for a long time” just as it happens with the group of experts of the different political spaces.

In turn, they indicated that it is no coincidence that the resolution was published four months before the elections and that now the alleged irregularities have to be demonstrated, which they flatly rejected. In that line they also indicated that “At most they can give you a fine for a tax issue.”

Meanwhile, he stressed that the issues that are being targeted do not involve public funds, be they contributions or subsidies. “I did not ask the State for anything, it is a matter between private parties”conclusion.

The move, which came before the electoral campaign, will now be settled in Justice. At the closing of this note, the complaints have not yet been promoted in the Justice.

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