Rome, January 15 - Piergiorgio Stiffoni, former treasurer of the Northern League in the Senate, was charged Tuesday with embezzlement. Stiffoni has been under investigation for more than a year as prosecutors probed the illegal use of funds that were allocated to the political party. Investigators had previously accused members of the scandal-hit Northern League of using public party funds to buy diamonds worth 400,000 euros and gold bullion worth 200,000 euros. The accusations were part of an investigation into former League treasurer Francesco Belsito for allegedly channelling public funds to the family of ex-leader Umberto Bossi, who stepped down at the beginning of April 2012. Belsito is accused of buying the jewels along with former Senate deputy speaker Rosy Mauro, expelled from the party in April, and Stiffoni. Probes were also launched into Northern League activities by investigators in Milan, Naples, Reggio Calabria, Reggio Emilia, and Genoa.