Santiago Martínez Tanoira
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The targeted ones are Germán Vito Fernández Lahore is VP of Legal Affairs at the company, and Santiago Martínez Tanoira is VP of Gas and Energy. Judge María Servini has charged them at the request of the lawsuit filed by the businessman Fabián De Sousa, which is why she requested that they not intervene in the responses provided by YPF within the framework of the case.

It is because Fernández Lahore and Martínez Tanoira would have been part of the maneuvers so that the Macrista management of YPF seizes the assets of Oil Combustible at a “vile price”, a company that was the victim of persecution for political reasons and subjected to suffocation finance in order to bankrupt it.

santiago martinez Tanoira.jpg

Santiago Martinez Tanoira

With great level of detail, Ambit He detailed in April of this year how the entire Macrista operation was in which the then YPF leadership intervened. The fugitive Fabián “Pepín” Rodríguez Simón, Macri’s judicial battering ram for his darkest efforts, was also key in this maneuver.

Next, we reproduce that note that uncovers part of the plot of the macrista outpost against Grupo Indalo and especially Oil Combustibles:

An external lawyer linked to the still fugitive from the Argentine Justice Fabián “Pepín” Rodríguez Simón collected thousands of dollars in fees from the state oil company YPF for alleged intermediation and advisory efforts, especially for the sale of the oil assets of the Oil Combustibles firm that They ended up being finished off, it is suspected, to “vile prior”. The confirmation of this maneuver is being analyzed by judge María Servini but the documentation now provided by YPF is full of missing and inconsistencies.

It is that the person hiring the lawyer Marcelo Rufino at that time -from the Llerena & Asociados law firm, where “Pepín” also worked- is Germán Vito Fernández Lahore, who managed to successfully go through the change of management at the end of 2019 and continued in the strategic position of Vice President of Legal Affairs of YPF. The scandal not only revolves around the lack of details about the role that Rufino played in different negotiations that he entered into on behalf of the oil company where Rodríguez Simón was director, but also dotted the transfer that YPF signed with the companies Delta Patagonia and DAPSA, in which YPF was obliged, by contract, to provide fuel “exclusively” for its service stations at a price that ended up being detrimental to the state oil company.

Rufino’s participation in the negotiations from YPF for the assets of Oil Combustibles when the bankruptcy of the Grupo Indalo oil company had already been declared had been denounced in the framework of the same case in which Rodríguez Simón has just served 500 days as a fugitive , with international arrest warrant. YPF took more than 3 months to provide the documentation required by the Federal Court No. 1 of the Federal Capital. When it did, it omitted a large part of the reports that had been requested, especially regarding the legal support that certain decisions of the board of directors would have had to liquidate Oil’s assets, and under what modality the beneficiaries were defined, for example. In addition, 23 Rufino invoices were not provided for which he received a total of $270,000 and which include reimbursements for trips to New York and Madrid, supposedly representing the state company.

dates do not match

But the most serious inconsistencies of all the documentation are in the dates, which aroused the suspicions of the researchers. The Framework Contract by which Rufino was incorporated into YPF formally dates from February 19, 2018 and is based on a proposal submitted in May 2017. It was recently certified before a notary public on July 31, 2018 and there it is stated that the lawyer close to “Pepín” provided services since December 2016, without any contracting framework for 1 year and 9 months. But even so, the first invoice from him and the registration of the contract by Fernández Lahore dates from August 23, 2016. Two years before having completed the required procedures and four months from the initial version on his incorporation .

The US$100,000

The General Administrative and Judicial Power of Attorney for Rufino to act issued by Fernández Lahore himself is dated May 30, 2017. However, there are at least 6 previous invoices totaling 80 thousand dollars whose contracting framework is unknown, for the period which runs between August 2016 and May 2017. Rufino was paid those amounts without having any powers or regulated functions in YPF. There is also no external element (such as an email, internal memo, or agreement) that provides clues as to why you were paid that money. But the “curiosities” do not end: the contracting and fee proposal documents that Fernández Lahore provided to Servini (in his current role) do not show any type of approval from YPF. They do not have a signature or person in charge.

The “front” with which Rufino entered to perform duties in the state oil company -according to the contract without signatures- was supposedly circumscribed to his “advice” in the international trials “Eton Park”, “Petersen”, “Maxus” and the definition of the legal strategy in the “Paz Herrera” case. The first two are claims from vulture funds derived from the nationalization, the third an environmental lawsuit for a failed subsidiary and the last a cross claim by a lawyer and small shareholder who accused Kirchnerism of fraud in an alleged agreement with the Eskenazi and with Repsol. None of these cases was linked to the situation of the oil company Oil. But Rufino had agreed to charge $170 an hour plus a monthly bonus of $20,000, added to another award based on the results of international trials. But in no document is it mentioned that the lawyer close to Rodríguez Simón was going to act in the acquisition of Oil’s assets, through YPF. His participation is revealed by two invoices presented for $50,000 each for taking over the remains of the Indalo oil company. Moreover, it was expressly prohibited in the Framework Agreement for Rufino to invoice other types of services that were not contemplated without being governed by the guidelines of a written agreement.

In the list of irregularities, it is highlighted that there is not only an invoice for US$13,600 from August 2016, but also Rufino’s first invoice for the acquisition of Oil’s assets (as detailed therein) for US$50 .000 was issued on 6/28/2018 and paid on July 25 of that year. The YPF Investment Committee, which had to approve the acquisition of Oil’s assets, did so only in August 2018. A month earlier, Rufino had been paid for management that was not among his duties (and for which he specifically could not have received nothing from the state oil company that was not detailed in its contract) and that, in practice, had not yet occurred.

“Operation OCSA”

On August 23, 2018, Rufino received a Special Power of Attorney together with the VP of Downstream Santiago Martínez Tanoira issued by Fernández Lahore for any of them to “intervene on behalf of YPF in the national and international public bidding process for the company’s assets bankrupt Oil Combustibles”. That was a week before the issue came up in the Investment Committee. But almost a month earlier, on July 25, 2018, there was already an invoice for US$50,000 that Rufino collected under the heading “Operation OCSA Adjudication” (the company name of Oil) which, as stated, had been in turn issued one month before the collection date. So, two months before the Investment Committee gave the go-ahead for YPF to participate in the offer for the acquisition of the San Lorenzo Refinery, the Port, the deposits and the network of service stations, someone knew in advance which was going to happen. to be the destination of those assets.


Not only are 23 Rufino invoices missing that YPF inexplicably brought to justice. Some others have as a reason for payment “Participated Ownership Program” and “SPA Case” that are not contained in their contract either, while the criteria “May payment” appears in the system when there was no link. For example, Rufino received $6,630 for providing “legal opinion of 4/24/2018”, accounting for 39 hours of work. It is unknown what that “opinion” responded to -because there are no references that frame it-, but what is known is that Rufino asserted it and the state oil company paid.

On 12/10/2018 -a prolific year for Rufino- the lawyer sent a note to the then CEO during the management of Mauricio Macri, Daniel González, in which he clarified that he attached “the invoice corresponding to the professional fees for success agreed upon for the acquisition of the oil assets of Oil Combustibles within the framework of the bankruptcy process”, but without accompanying it with any requirement that justifies its action in the case. That formal note came as a kind of “make-up” for a situation that -in fact- had occurred 5 months earlier.

But the accumulation of irregularities reached its climax on 9/6/2018. Martínez Tanoira presents the offer to keep the Oil assets before the YPF board of directors. There, the VP admits that the 42 million base dollars for the bidding “are a fairly low value even for the potential that the assets have.” He hints that it could be priced below true value. In justice, this operation is called “vile price”.


In the documentation now in the possession of justice there are two additional sections of the same operation. Once in possession of the Oil assets, YPF assigned to DAPSA (Destilería Argentina de Petróleo SA) certain service station contracts. But in addition, it had authorization from the Board of Directors of the state oil company to sign an “exclusive supply contract” with DAPSA, which had its corresponding contract. In parallel, Servini has a copy of the acquisition offer by Delta Patagonia of the Oil assets and its corresponding supply contract. But here Rufino also appears again, although in a different role. In point 3 of the joint participation proposal, DAPSA announced that it would unify legal status but under YPF’s proxy, Marcelo Rufino. In other words, why does a private company make a proposal to the state oil company and leave the representation for that operation in the hands of the lawyer close to “Pepín”? In the file, so far, there is no indication of justification for this behavior. The General Power of Administration and Disposal of DAPSA is in favor of a lawyer, whose address on calle esmeralda coincides with the real estate services firm Delta del Plata SA.


Among the missing items that YPF did not provide (yet) is the board meeting where the presentation of YPF’s tender offer was supposedly approved -in the context of the bankruptcy- nor the one that approves the sale of the service stations to the Delta firm, of which there is no trace on technical reports that justify their choice. Was there a price check to choose the best bidder to reach the goal of profitable business for YPF? Mystery. Of the negotiations to arrive at that result, there was no record. The untidiness was such that in the supply agreement with Delta, YPF assigns it validity between 2018 and 2023. But without specifying the start and end date, something intrinsic to almost any contract. All these elements make up a further step in the confirmation of the hypothesis that there was a coordinated plan between the highest spheres of the Executive Power that Macri commanded for political objectives, but also for economic purposes. The scrapping of Oil Combustibles (and the benefits that this situation generated) also points to corroborating that unclear deals were mediated that motivated the onslaught to bankrupt the company in a process that had unusual speed.

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