Friar fraud suspect commits suicide

Broker Leonida Rossi found hanged at home

(ANSA) - Milan, November 26 - Leonida Rossi, the 78-year-old Italian-Swiss broker under investigation by prosecutors in Milan and Lugano over a 50-million-euro shortfall in the accounts of the Franciscan Order of Friars Minor (OFM), has committed suicide, judicial sources said Thursday. He was found hanged in his home, the sources said. Rossi allegedly received funds from OFM's treasurer, Friar Giancarlo Lati, to invest in Switzerland, but then withheld both the capital and interest proceeds. The OFM General Curia filed charges with the Lugano federal prosecutor's office, which ordered a series of searches and seizures. Rossi was under investigation for improper financial practice.