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Preventive seizure order of over €1 million and one person under house arrest in aggravated fraud investigation in Italy

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In an investigation led by the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) in Bologna, a pre-trial house arrest warrant and a freezing order of over €1 million were issued by the Italian judge for the investigation working at the Tribunal of Macerata, at the request of the EPPO. Both measures affect an Italian company and its legal representative, and were executed yesterday (23 March 2023) by the Italian Financial Police (Guardia di Finanza) based in Camerino (Marche region, Italy).

According to the investigation, between 2021 and 2022 the suspected individual, in his capacity as legal representative of the company, submitted several falsified applications for subsidised loans and non-repayable funds. In order to fraudulently obtain the above-mentioned funding, the suspect put in place a series of illicit scams by submitting false information about the company’s yearly turnover, false inflated balance sheets, false receipts of submission of the balance sheets, false notarial deeds, false tax returns and false receipts of the digital submission of tax returns.

The analysis of the financial flows on the bank accounts of the company, to which the public funds were credited, indicated that the suspect, upon receiving the above-mentioned money, unduly laundering it to the bank accounts of several foreign companies. In total, he received nine different financial contributions from both the Italian budget and the EU budget (partially under the Next Generation EU programme), totalling more than €1 million.

The natural person and legal entity concerned are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty in the competent Italian courts of law.