El Universal / The former governor of the Mexican state of Oaxaca, José Murat Casab, and members of his family, have at least six real estate properties of great value in the US, according to a research conducted by the New York Times, which was published on its online version and will be released in its printed version on Wednesday. Under the title " Mexican Political Family Has Close PRI Ties, and Homes in the US," the story presents an account of the properties and overcomplicated methods used in an attempt to hide the true identity of their owners, who end up being the former governor and his children.
"Alejandro Murat Hinojosa (son), knows something about homes with value, especially across the border.
"Over the years, he and members of his immediate family — starting with his father, José Murat Casab, a former governor of Oaxaca — have bought at least six properties in the United States, including two condominiums near a ski resort in Utah, another at the beach in South Texas and at least one in Manhattan, according to records and interviews.
"In New York, José Murat's children have also lived for periods of time in one of the more modest condos at the luxurious Time Warner Center overlooking Central Park.
"Ownership of the homes was often obscured through variations on family names listed on deeds or through shell companies, according to records examined by The New York Times. In fact, on the day the younger Mr. Murat tweeted about the housing program, public filings in Florida recorded the transfer of a $750,000 Boca Raton condo that had been purchased in his wife's name to an entity called IMRO 2013 Trust.
The newspaper also acknowledges receipt of the letters sent by José Murat in order to clarify the situation, and points out that even if there is no investigation or evidence of any crimes, the striking thing about this matter is the context of endemic corruption that plagues Mexico.
"José and Alejandro Murat denied ownership of several residences around the country that The Times traced to them.
"José Murat said the Time Warner condo was owned by a relative. Alejandro Murat said the Florida condo was owned by his mother-in-law. Another Manhattan condo, which records show was originally purchased in the name of Alejandro's wife, belongs to an uncle, he said.
"In an email, José Murat said the only United States properties owned by his immediate family were the two condos in Park City, Utah. They were purchased in 2004 — one by his two sons and the other by his two daughters — for a total of $690,000. At least one of the Murat children was a teenager at the time. But Mr. Murat said: "I do not personally own any real estate directly or indirectly in the United States."
"The Murat properties show how the legal mechanisms available in the United States to hold property without disclosing the actual owner's name can make tracing money difficult. This can be a particular problem for Mexico, which, like many developing nations, has long experienced the flight of both legitimate and illicit capital.
"Wealthy Mexicans are buying property in the United States at a brisk pace with few questions asked, The Times found, even as border security is tightened against poor immigrants trying to cross into the country," expressed the Times.
Con Información de El Universal