Milan

Indictment sought for Emilio Riva in 'tax fraud'

Family at centre of giant ILVA steel-plant trouble in south

Indictment sought for Emilio Riva in 'tax fraud'

(updates previous) Milan, July 2 - Prosecutors asked a court to indict Emilio Riva, former head of troubled steel manufacturer ILVA, on charges of massive tax fraud Tuesday. Prosecutor Francesco Greco accused Riva, and two other former executives of the steelmaker, of evading 52 million euros in taxes dating back to 2007. A London-based executive with Deutsche Bank was also named by the prosecution for assisting in the alleged fraud. Emilio and Adriano Riva, owners of the parent company that owns Taranto's ILVA steel plant, have been under investigation for fraud against the State and fake money transfers since last year. Some 1.2 billion euros transferred out of Italy by the Rivas were previously confiscated, as were 8.1 billion euros in assets involved in a transfer when the family set up a spin-off company called Riva Forni Elettrici SpA. A court of review upheld a decision to retain those assets on Tuesday, calling the spin-off "of a merely fictitious nature" and "highly suspect". ILVA has faced enormous problems in the past year, most recently with a decision by the Italian government to appoint a commissioner to take over management of the company's ill-fated Taranto steel plant in southern Italy. Enrico Bondi's job as commissioner is to clean up and revamp the plant - the largest in Europe - located in southern Italy. ILVA has been at the centre of a political and legal battle since last July when local magistrates ordered the partial closure of the Taranto plant due to serious health concerns. The Riva group is the biggest iron and steel producer in Italy, the fourth-biggest in Europe and the 23rd-biggest in the world. In January, ILVA executive and family member Fabio Riva was arrested in London after two months on the run. Taranto prosecutors had issued a European arrest warrant for Fabio Riva, the deputy chairman of parent-company Riva, last December saying that he was sought as part of a criminal probe into the environmental scandal at the facility.

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