BUENOS AIRES (AP) — The Spanish tenor Plácido Domingo is involved in a legal case that investigates the scope in Argentina and the United States of an organization that used a yoga center as a front to sexually exploit its clients and dispossess them of their assets.
An audio provided to The Associated Press on Thursday by a Federal Police official contains the conversation that the 81-year-old opera star would have had with a woman from the sect about organizing a sexual encounter between the two in a hotel from Buenos Aires.RELATED
The police official – who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to reveal information that is under investigation – limited that the artist is not charged and apparently only used prostitution, which is not illegal in Argentina.
Domingo has not spoken publicly about this case and his representatives did not respond to a request for comment.
The criminal group was disrupted in recent days after the arrest of about twenty of its members. The alleged leader of the gang, Juan Percowicz, 84 years old and who called himself “Maestro”, was arrested days ago by order of federal judge Ariel Lijo, who also ordered the seizure of dozens of properties and cars belonging to him and other defendants. .
In the listening, which would have taken place when Domingo was in Buenos Aires in April for a concert, the tenor advises the woman – identified as Susana Mendelievich and nicknamed “Mendy” – to evade her security team so that she can go upstairs. to your hotel room. “When we leave dinner we come separately, right? We do it like this because my agents are going to go up to the room when I go up, ”she says on the recording.
In 2019 Domingo was accused of “inappropriate conduct” by several women. The allegations were first reported by the AP and temporarily paralyzed his career in the United States as well as in his native Spain.
Mendelievich is a pianist who has performed on occasion with Domingo.
In another audio to which AP had access, the woman spoke with the leader of the group to comment on the dialogue she would have had with the tenor. “He already called me (Sunday) and put together the matufia (the deception) so that tonight I stay in the hotel without the agents realizing it,” she says.
As part of the latest developments in the Argentine court case, police arrested 49-year-old Gabriel Sorkin on Wednesday night on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, the government reported.
According to the judicial file – to which AP had access – the detainees are accused of integrating a criminal organization “with traits of a sect of a spiritual nature called Escuela de Yoga Buenos Aires (EYBA)” that operated from at least 2004 to 2022 and apparently was dedicated to to deceive vulnerable people to reduce them to servitude and sexually exploit them.
Based on the cult around its main leader, the group would have promoted an illegal business structure in Argentina and the United States to give the appearance of legality to the funds obtained as a result of its activities “with the sole purpose of enriching themselves and obtaining influence and/or coverage.” for their leaders.
The organization, the file maintains, had a hierarchical and pyramidal structure in which approximately 179 students participated, distributed in its headquarters located in Buenos Aires, Las Vegas, Chicago and New York, who were given a rank.
Several people came from the United States to Argentina to have sex with sexually exploited women and “students” were taken to that North American country and also to Uruguay to serve clients. Psychotropic drugs and antidepressants were also transferred.
The last link in the economic circuit of the sect are foundations established in the United States to supposedly attract new investments and enter the formal market the money obtained illegally through the purchase of real estate.
For this, the leaders had the advice of several members of the organization who resided in the North American country. Three of them -María Beatriz Bugari, Pablo Sinigaglia and Verónica Iácono- weigh international arrest warrants requested by the Argentine judge.
One of the main denouncers of EYBA’s activity is Pablo Salum, 44 years old. According to him he maintains, he made his sister and his mother sexual slaves.
The sect socially isolated its members from family and friends, according to the investigation.
The legal case against the leaders of the Yoga School of Buenos Aires that was processed during the 90s was closed without convictions.
Judge Lijo is also investigating BA Group and the CMI Abasto Clinic, two other centers that would have carried out criminal activities similar to those of the school and that would be part of the same organization.
Associated Press writer Jocelyn Gecker contributed to this story from San Francisco.