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Italy: € 200 000 seized in fraud to promote regional products

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As part of an investigation led by the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO), the Italian Financial Police (Guardia di Finanza) of Asti executed a preventive seizure decree issued by a judge, aimed at confiscating an amount just under € 200 000, against an association promoting typical products of the ‘Langhe and Monferrato’ territories in Piedmont, including Asti Moscato wine, honey and hazelnuts.
 
The investigations show that the association, in 2017 and 2018, submitted two separate applications to the Piedmont Region for obtaining funds from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, related to two promotional events for typical regional products in the cities of Alba and Asti, artificially duplicating the costs.

The fraudulent mechanism was carried out through a company related to one of the suspects in charge of organising the events. The company issued fictitious invoices to attest expenses that, in part, were never incurred.

The suspects were reported to the EPPO for aggravated fraud against the European Union.