Ascoli Piceno

Italian police break up 100-million-euro tax-fraud

'Merry-go-round' scheme involved false invoices

Italian police break up 100-million-euro tax-fraud

(ANSA) - Ascoli Piceno, August 9 - Italian police on Thursday said they had broken up a 100-million-euro-plus tax-evasion scheme and pressed charges against 32 people accused of using false invoices to avoid paying taxes. According to a local unit of the finance police, the scheme dated from 2007 to 2011 and involved producers of leather goods, accessories for shoe production and plastics firms in the central Italian provinces of Macerata and Fermo. Police said that through a "merry-go-round" scheme which involved bankrupt companies, figurehead representatives - including some in foreign countries - sales between ghost companies and fake companies in San Marino, the accused avoided declaring some 82 million euros in income and evaded some 31 million euros in VAT. Assets, including real-estate, cars and cash in bank accounts, worth about 33 million euros were seized. Police said the charged people had already been arrested in the past for operating similar scams, which involved near-bankrupt, or already bankrupt, companies emitting invoices to "paper companies" in foreign jurisdictions which subsequently provided false papers regarding VAT payments.

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