Venerdì, 21 Settembre 2018
MILAN

Soccer: Maldini acquitted of bribing tax official

English
© ANSA

Milan, February 26 - A Milan court on Tuesday
acquitted AC Milan and Italy legend Paolo Maldini of bribing a
tax official to gain access to internal-revenue computers.
Maldini, 44, said: "The last three years have not been easy
but I've always had faith in justice and this is the right end
to an absurd trial".
The former Milan and Italy skipper was placed under
investigation in 2010 and indicted in March 2011.
Prosecutors said he paid a Milan tax official to avoid
inspections on a real estate company he was setting up with his
wife, Italo-Venezuelan ex-model Adriana Fossa, who was cleared
before the indictment stage.
Prosecutors accused Maldini of paying internal revenue
official and accountant Luciano Bressi regular annual fees of
40,000 euros ($53,000) for his services as well as a "special"
off-the-books consultancy for the new company, Velvet SaS,
amounting to "at least 185,000 euros" ($250,000)".
Some 40 others, including top Milan accountants and
businessmen, were probed in connection with Bressi's activities
at the revenue office.
Bressi was detained in the probe in June 2009.
Police released wiretaps at the time in which Maldini
appears to be asking Bressi to run a tax check on a potential
partner in the new real estate and construction company he was
planning to set up with his wife in Tuscany.
Maldini and Fossa have been married since 1994 and have two
sons, both on Milan's youth books.
Maldini played for Milan for 25 years, winning seven Serie
A titles and five European Cup/Champions League trophies.
He played for Italy for 14 years before retiring in 2002
with a then record 126 caps.
Many Italian sports stars have been caught up in tax cases
in the past.
They include skier Alberto Tomba; MotoGP riders Valentino
Rossi and Loris Capirossi; and former Napoli great Diego
Maradona, who owes around 36 million euros from unpaid taxes
between 1984 and 1991, when he led the club to two Serie A
titles.
Maradona has just returned to Italy to try to clear up the
case.
Other athletes to have fallen foul of the taxman are
two-time former world skiing champion Isolde Kostner and another
high-profile Italian skier, Denise Karbon, both suspected of
putting money into secret Swiss bank accounts.
Ex-Renault Formula One boss Fabio Briatore had his luxury
yacht impounded in 2010 in a probe into allegedly dodging EU
fuel duty.
Italy has been stepping up its battle against tax evasion
as part of its bid to reduce its budget deficit and public debt,
the second-largest in the eurozone after Greece's.

L'ex terzino del Milan, Paolo
Maldini, è stato assolto dall'accusa di corruzione e accesso
abusivo a sistema informatico.
L'ex calciatore, difeso
dall'avvocato Danilo Buongiorno, era a processo a Milano
perché, secondo l'accusa, avrebbe corrotto un funzionario
dell'Agenzia delle entrate. Oggi è arrivata l'assoluzione.

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