A new corruption scandal tarnishes Chile’s financial sector

The securities regulator Chili and its tax collection service announced internal investigations after a local news report claimed officials from both agencies are receiving bribes from companies.

The regulator, known as CMF, said in a statement that it will also file charges against the lawyers Luis Hermosilla and Maria Leonarda Villalobosand against the businessman Daniel Sauerpartner of the defunct stockbroker STF Capital and the factoring company Factop. On Tuesday, local investigative news service Ciper released audio clips online of them allegedly conspiring to bribe CMF agents and tax service officials.

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The CMF ordered the suspension of STF Capital in May after failing to comply with audit requirements. This subsequently led to accusations against sister company Factop of fraud and issuing false invoices that it would then sell at a discount to investors.

In the recordings you can hear that Hermosilla, a renowned criminal lawyer, suggests creating a “black box” with money for bribes. On Wednesday, Hermosilla denied paying bribesaccording to statements sent to the local press, and said that the accusations are part of a political conspiracy.

The audio recordings threaten to shake the Chilean business community after other financial scandals in recent years. The lithium miner SQM and the holding Penta Group They were investigated in the last decade for illegally funneling money to political parties.

Translated by Bárbara Briceño.

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