Thursday, December 13, 2007

Pesos from heaven

Six months ago, a police explosives team conducted their daily security sweep in the office of the economy minister here. They found a bag containing $60,000.

What the hell was a bag of cash doing in the bathroom of the economy minister? Well, you could try asking her. A lot of people certainly did.

But Felisa Miceli kept changing her story. First the money belonged to her and was, of course, 100% declared before the tax authorities.

Then most of it was a loan from her brother for a real estate deal. She had meant to take it to the bank, but didn't have time.

One of the problems — I mean, besides the fact that $60,000 was found in a paper bag in her bathroom — was that some of the money was still wrapped in an eminently traceable bank band. And when the band was traced, neither her nor her brother's name came up.

Some of her assistants cast doubt on her already dubious story, testifying that she had never mentioned a real estate deal to them. Others tried — and failed — to explain it away: Miceli was often very forgetful, they said. Like, she would totally leave her cell phone in a meeting room. Or, you know, bags of cash in the bathroom. Whoopsy!

(Frankly, I think it's better to assume she knew damn well that bag was there. Otherwise you have to ask how many other bags of cash she has lying around where she was able to forget the $60,000 in the bathroom.)

Miceli stuck around for a month or so, but not surprisingly she ended up getting the boot. I've been wanting to mention this for a while, since I was otherwise engaged when this all went down. The news hook for this post is that she told her story to a judge yesterday — one of her stories, anyway.

Along the way, Miceli said her handling of the incident was marked by her naivete. She has also tried to paint herself as the victim.

If anyone wants to victimize me by leaving $60,000 in my bathroom, you know how to reach me.

4 comments:

Tom said...

Love your blog and your writing style. Pesos from Heaven...but wait I thought the money was found in the toilet. Did I miss something?

Best,
Tom

Dan said...

Thanks very much for the kind words.

I believe the money was found in a piece of furniture in the bathroom ... but of course no one knows for sure quite where it came from. Well, one person knows but isn't telling.

In any case, I guess Pesos from Heaven just sounds a little better than Pesos from the Toilet. Dirty money, either way though.

Longhorn Dave said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Longhorn Dave said...

And now Christina has her own explaining to do. Only she is using the "shoot the messenger" tactic to explain away the $800,000 the FBI claims was headed her way.