- Videgaray's $500,000 Check Went Uncashed for 10 Months
- Probe Documents Show He Closed On Property While in Office
Mexican Finance Minister Luis Videgaray was cleared of wrongdoing for his purchase of a luxury home from a government contractor. But documents released in the probe that exonerated him raise questions about the timing of the sale.
They show Videgaray completed the purchase after taking office and that he paid for the home with three works of art and a personal check for about $500,000 that sat around for 10 months before it was deposited. The deposit was made just days before a news report questioned the minister’s dealings with the contractor.
Here’s a timeline of Videgaray’s appointment and home purchase:
- Sept. 4, 2012: Mexico President-elect Enrique Pena Nieto names Videgaray, his campaign manager and finance minister during his 2005-2011 term as governor in the State of Mexico, to head the transition team.
- Oct. 10, 2012: Videgaray signs agreement to buy a 7.5 million peso ($583,000 at the time) home from a company owned by Juan Armando Hinojosa. Videgaray hands over three works of art he valued at 2.45 million pesos to cover the down payment and initial monthly payments.
- Dec. 1, 2012: Videgaray becomes finance minister, overseeing the public budget for Mexico’s $1.2 trillion economy.
- March 14, 2013: Hinojosa’s Eolo Plus company wins a contract worth up to 10.7 million pesos to provide air transportation for the executives of Banobras, a state-owned development bank. Videgaray, who is the bank’s chairman, is among those who can use the service.
- Nov. 28, 2013: Videgaray’s agreement to purchase the home, dated in October 2012, is notarized.
- Jan. 31, 2014: Videgaray signs a check for 6.6 million pesos intended to pay off the rest of his mortgage.
- Nov. 9, 2014: Aristegui Noticias reports first lady Angelica Rivera bought a home from an Hinojosa company.
- Nov. 24, 2014: Videgaray is released from his mortgage obligation.
- Dec. 5, 2014: The Malinalco home seller collects on Videgaray’s check through BBVA Bancomer.
- Dec. 11, 2014:Wall Street Journal reports Videgaray’s home purchase from the government contract.