Rome

Former prefect arrested in interior ministry finance probes

La Motta also being investigated in Camorra case

Former prefect arrested in interior ministry finance probes

Rome, June 14 - Former prefect Francesco La Motta, also the ex-deputy chief of Italy's secret services AISI, was arrested for suspected embezzlement and forgery of interior ministry funds on Friday, Rome prosecutors said. Former banker Klaus Beherend, financier Eduardo Tartaglia and broker Rocco Zullino were also arrested. The four are accused of embezzlement and false documentation regarding approximately 10 million euros of interior ministry finances intended for the safeguard of Italy's artistic heritage. According to investigators, the money was invested by La Motta in Switzerland and entrusted to Zullino, a broker and business partner of Tartaglia, who is related to La Motta. Beherend is accused of managing investment plans. La Motta is also being probed in a parallel investigation by anti-mafia prosecutors in Naples in a money-laundering case involving the Polverino clan, a powerful family of the local Camorra mafia controlling businesses in the northern part of the port city. La Motta is suspected of criminal conspiracy and revealing classified information. According to an informant cooperating with the prosecution's office, La Motta covered for a number of local entrepreneurs, provided information on ongoing inquiries and tried to obstruct justice by stopping a prosecutor from pursuing the investigation. Cinema producer and broker Eduardo Tartaglia, also a relation of La Motta, was recently arrested in connection with the investigation.

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