Businessman's Role in Pemex-Siemens Scandal Surfaces

Part of that money was then transferred to a senior Pemex official, who "was in a position to influence the claims," according to the complaint filed in a District of Columbia federal court by the S.E.C. The payments were disguised with invoices for "consulting services that were not provided or [were] only vaguely described."

When Mexican authorities opened their own investigation into the bribes, they eventually focused on the relationship between Siemens and Camil Garza, who had acted as the multinational's representative since 1999.

During the course of the enquiry, federal prosecutors discovered that Camil Garza had received several checks from Siemens that totaled more than $2.5 million dollars. Univision News had access to the checks drawn by Siemens from a BBVA Bancomer account to the name of Jaime Federico Said Camil Garza, the businessman's full name. There is one check deposited on October 2004 for $10.8 million pesos (approx. $860,000); and two checks deposited on December 2004 for $8.1 (approx. $730,000), and $10.5 million pesos (approx. $945,000).

The payments were justified by Siemens as representation fees for Camil Garza's services per a contract signed in 1999. The original document, subscribed by Camil Garza and Hans Georg Pauli, then Siemens' CEO in Mexico, reflected that Camil Garza's main responsibility was to represent the German company and to promote its sales in the country. In a phone interview with Univision News, Camil Garza acknowledged that he was the anonymous "politically connected business consultant" alluded to in the S.E.C. lawsuit.

"Of course it was me," he said. "I was the representative after many years with Siemens."

He also admitted that he received the checks mentioned above, but he said earned that money as part of his work as Siemens' representative in Mexico, and was not used for bribes.

"The numbers of the checks are there," he said. "There is one for 10 [million pesos], another for a bit more than 10, and another for eight that are perfectly audited."

Camil Garza said that said that the payments given to him by Siemens had been investigated by Mexican prosecutors, who established over the course of four years that there was no evidence whatsoever that he bribed Pemex officials with the money.

In response to a question from Univision News about the personal repercussions of the SEC investigation of the incident, Camil Garza replied that there had been none. "Besides," he said, "I'm a very, very close friend of the Bush family."

Univision News is waiting for a statement from Mexico's Prosecutor's Office about last year's final decision regarding Camil Garza's case.

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