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The Chilean government’s fraud and corruption investigation of former dictator Augusto Pinochet’s financial dealings in the United States has expanded beyond four Miami banks to include institutions in New York and Washington. After winning a court order from U.S. District Judge Joan Lenard in Miami to gain access to accounts in south Florida, Chile is seeking to force the former Riggs Bank in Washington � now owned by PNC Financial Services Group Inc. of Pittsburgh � and Banco de Chile in New York to turn over client information and make staff available for depositions. Separate but similar applications for access to bank documents were filed at federal courts in New York and Washington on July 29. Chile’s attorney general is investigating how $17 million moved through U.S. accounts it contends are controlled by Pinochet even though the general declared in income tax returns that he earned $661,733 from 1973 through 2004. Chile’s attorney, Pedro Martinez-Fraga of the Miami office of Greenberg Traurig, says he doesn’t want the banks to be able to conceal documents that might be in Washington or New York because they might not be covered by the Miami federal judge’s order. Executives with Banco de Chile and PNC declined to comment.
Peter Zalewski is a reporter for the Daily Business Review

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