Giovedì, 18 Ottobre 2018

Monti Senator probed in huge fraud investigation


(By Sandra Cordon)).
Rome, June 3 - Senator Aldo Di Biagio, a member of
ex-premier Mario Monti's Civic Choice party, and three other
people are under investigation in an alleged social security
fraud involving as much as 22 million euros, sources said
Di Biagio, 48, is suspected of criminal conspiracy and
criminal association in a probe into an alleged fraud to siphon
millions of euros from Italy's social-security agency INPS and
the justice ministry.
At least four people, including lawyers and civil servants,
are facing arrest in connection with the alleged fraud, judicial
sources said.
They are suspected of criminal association, fraud against
the Italian State, forgery and money laundering involving the
INPS fund.
INPS is the fund that Italian workers pay into for their
retirement pensions. It also handles many benefits, such as
disability and unemployment benefits.
Paola Della Monica, the investigating judge, issued arrest
warrants on Monday for four people.
In judicial documents, she accuses Di Biagio - who was only
elected to the Senate three months ago - of directly benefiting
from the fraudulent receipt of 443,589 euros found in bank
drafts issued by Banca Intesa Sanpaolo.
Others named in the various documents include Nicola
Staniscia and Gina Tralicci, according to investigators.
It's believed the overall scam involved false claims and
appeals against the INPS, to obtain increased benefits.
However, many names that were used in these claims belonged
to Italian residents who were dead or had moved to other
The proceeds of the fraudulent activities were used to buy
property in Italy and or hidden in bank accounts in other parts
of Europe and in Panama, according to investigators.
Di Biagio is a former head of the International relations
office in the ministry of agriculture and forestry and became a
parliamentarian with ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's People of
Freedom (PdL) political party.
However, in July 2010 he left the PdL to join a group of
politicians who formed a new group, the Future and Freedom for
Then, in February's national general election he was
nominated to the Senate election list for Monti's Civic Choice
party and won election.
Investigators are now moving to seize property, documents,
and exercise arrest warrants, authorities say.

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