Years ago, in 2007, the Guardia di Finanza – Guardia di Finanza (abbreviated G. di F.) is one of the Italian armed forces, acting at the same time part of the five Italian police, it’s directly dependent on the Ministry of Economy and Finance – , had paid a fine – or penalty – of 98 billion euros to the companies who ran the gambling legalized in Italy.
This story as it turned out?
The case of video poker and slot machines, which began in 2007, also passed the amnesty of the government Letta? The story ended February 6, 2015, with the ruling of the Appeals Court of Auditors on the last two dealerships that had appealed. Of the 98 billion euro, a figure initially challenged by the Attorney General of the Court of Accounts, calculating tax evasion, penalties, fines, not respected contracts and interest, then become 2.5 billion in the first instance, we come to a final bill of 857 million, then further lowered to 611.
This is what happens when the gambling is legalized by the state to dealers.
Originally these were dealers evaders to be sanctioned and amounts:
Atlantis, Mr Amedeo Laboccetta (An, then PDL – right party in Italy -) – 31.5 billion euro;
Cogetech – 9.4 billion euro;
Snai – 8.1 billion euro;
Lottomatica – 7.7 billion euro;
Cirsa – 7 billion euro);
Hbg – 7 billion euro);
Codere – 6.8 billion euro);
Sisal – 4.5 billion euro);
Gmatica – 3.1 billion euro);
Gamenet – 2.9 billion euro).
As? The story is long, but it is not all that complex.
In 2004, the Berlusconi government had partially liberalized the gambling industry: by law the infamous slot machines need to be linked to the State Monopolies. But about 90% of the machines skip this step and the ten dealers who share the market make huge profits. Per hour processed, a company would have to pay 50 euro fine.
In 2007, the GAT (Antifraud Technology Group) of the Financial Police, commanded by Colonel Umberto Rapetto, does the account of the fine: 98 billion. The Prosecutor General of the Court, after a recalculation, reduces it to 90. The 10 dealerships were Atlantis / B-plus (headed by former fugitive Francesco Corallo, son of Gaetano Corallo, suspected to have been years ago in business with the Santapaola clan), Cogetech, SNAI, Lottomatica, Hbg, Cirsa, Codere, Sisal, Gmatica and Gamenet. All the big names in the industry. The charge? Simple. The slot, to function properly and be controlled, should have been connected to a central brainy managed by Sogei, the IT services company of the economy ministry. This link would be crucial to decipher the amount of revenue arising from the game, and the fees you pay us. And network connections, however, according to the prosecutor have water on all sides. According to estimates made at the time between 2004 and 2006 of just over 200,000 gaming equipment those that do not converse in the network were 130,000. The story, in 2006, had attracted the attention of the then Prodi government, during which it was established a commission of inquiry chaired by former undersecretary Alfiero Grandi economy.
Between dealers the biggest fish, which handles a third of the market at the time, is the Atlantis World Nv Francesco Corallo, son of Gaetano, a man linked to Cosa Nostra Catania Nitto Santapaola. Coral Junior has ties to politics, especially with the center. At the time, the legal representative of Atlantis in Italy Amedeo Laboccetta before AN, then PDL. In 2005 he had come off interceptions svelavano pressures Monopoli by Francesco Proietti Cosimi, AN deputy. There are also Atlantis funding for AN election campaign and business between the same dealership and communications company of the family Proietti.
Coral sticks out even in the investigation against Massimo Ponzellini, already number one in the building giant Impregilo (won the contract for the bridge over the Strait) and president of Banca Popolare di Milano, who was arrested in May 2012 on charges of asset infidelity and criminal conspiracy, aimed at committing more offenses (including corruption, issuing invoices for nonexistent operations, recycling). Ponzellini, as president of BPM, gives nearly 6 million euro in funding Coral and 148 to Bplus, the new name of Atlantis.
The first judgment of the Court of Auditors dramatically resize the fine for the 10 dealers: about 2.5 billion (the result of various irregularities, but not for tax avoidance). At that point’s new policy to shove a hand. The government Letta (with Berlusconi in the majority) to cover the shortfall of the IMU cutting invents an amnesty on pending litigation for damages central government between first and second degree. Who pays for the damage suffered challenge at first instance, it benefits from a discount of 75%. In 2013 accepted all except Bplus and Hgb, arriving to the second degree. The sentence is still ‘favorable’: a fine of Bplus passing from 835 million to 335 million. Hgb from 200 to 72.
Eight years to go from 98 billion to 857 million overall. The intricate judicial saga of big fines to the slot dealers closed yesterday with the sentencing of the last two remaining companies in the process: Bplus and Hbg, you will have to pay, respectively, 335 and 72 million euro (were 835 and 200 in the first instance) . The third Section of Appeal of the Court of Auditors has also acquitted the former senior executives of Monopoli, Giorgio Tino and Antonio Tagliaferri.
The story ended with a total collection by the Inland Revenue of at least part of the emitted sanction and the officer’s retirement of the Financial Police, after having promoted General, who led the operation.
What to call this story?
Fraud on the biggest fraud in my country, Italy.