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Abdala: linked to diversion of federal funds. Abdala: linked to diversion of federal funds.

Assets of ex-treasurer ordered seized by SAT

Official in Duarte's administration investigated for diversion of 23 billion pesos

The federal tax authority (SAT) has ordered the seizure of assets held by former Veracruz treasurer Antonio Tarek Abdala Saad for failing to pay fines totaling 19.7 million pesos (US $980,000).

The fines were levied last November against the official, who served in the government of fugitive ex-governor Javier Duarte, by the Federal Auditor’s Office (ASF). That office has linked Abdala to the diversion of 315 million pesos originally intended for spending on health services in 2013.

Meanwhile, the state has begun the process of withdrawing his immunity from prosecution, called the fuero, which has been sought by the state’s Attorney General so it can proceed with legal action in connection with the diversion or embezzlement of 23.156 billion pesos.

Abdala has admitted that federal health funding was directed not to health services but instead to the payment of teachers’ salaries, public security measures and other priorities of Duarte’s administration.

Before serving as state treasurer from 2012 until 2014, Abdala was the director of administration at the DIF, the family services agency, which was then headed by Duarte’s wife, Karime Macías.

He left the treasurer’s post to run as a federal Deputy in the 2015 elections. He won election under the banner of the Institutional Revolutionary Party.

Source: Reforma (sp)

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