Comptroller General finds irregularities during Allison’s Magdalena administration

A report by Peru’s comptroller general has found numerous irregularities in the management of Lima’s Magdalena district when it was headed by ex-Housing Minister Francis Allison, daily Peru.21 reported.

According to a document that was submitted to Peru’s Public Ministry, and which was obtained by the local daily, when Allison was the mayor of Magdalena between January 2007 and June 2009 the municipality paid 567,780 soles ($202,800) for services that were never completed.

The report blames high level management in the Magdalena municipality, and while the investigation does not directly implicate Allison, he is expected to face questions from prosecutors to determine if he had knowledge of the alleged misdeeds.

Three types of payments were made, according to the report. The first was to make payments to suppliers that never provided a service; hiring “ghost” companies and suppliers; and forging documents.

Between February and October 2008, for example, Allison’s administration has recorded that it paid 46,700 soles to Antonio Cabello Sanchez for the purchase of rat poison and 151,300 soles to Luis Cavero Huaman for the acquisition of property and grass. However, when the men were questioned by police they both denied any business connection with the municipality. In addition, the receipts and signatures had reportedly been forged.

The report also found that between April 2008 and June 2009, Magdalena paid three businesses a total of 233,580 soles. About 175,000 soles was paid in the name of Lissy Encinas, who the municipality reportedly signed 9 contracts for tree and post maintenance.

However the comptroller found that “the address that is registered to the suppliers are homes where the residents do not know the people mentioned,” and who were never located.

Allison has been the mayor of Magdalena three times since 2000. In June 2009 he was appointed minister of Housing and Construction by President Alan Garcia in a cabinet shuffle. However by the end of September he was forced to resign because he received payments from Business Track, BTR. The company is allegedly involved in illegal wire tapping that is being investigated by Congress and the judiciary and which is connected to the petroleum concessions scandal, or Petrogate, that forced a major Cabinet shuffle last year.

Allison, and his wife, Claudia Robbiano, were taken into custody in Miami last November when they were found carrying $50,000 in cash between them as they boarded a flight to Panama and Peru. They had declared that they only had $20,000 in cash. Allison said the mistake was an innocent confusion and that he and his wife had passed the police polygraph test.

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