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PdL MP investigated in 22-million-euro public funds fraud

Verdini accused of illegally obtaining money for papers

10 December, 16:26
PdL MP investigated in 22-million-euro public funds fraud (ANSA) - Florence, December 10 - A leading MP of the People of Freedom (PdL) party of former Premier Silvio Berlusconi was accused Monday, along with 24 others, of having orchestrated a 22-million-euro fraud against the State.

Denis Verdini was accused in Florence of aggravated fraud in a probe into public funds for newspapers from 2002 to 2012. Others accused in the alleged fraud include Massimo Parisi, another PdL MP, entrepreneurs and publishers.

The alleged fraud was centered on the newspapers Giornale della Toscana - which closed down earlier this year - Metropoli Day and Il Cittadino.

Prosecutors took aim at the cooperative which publishes the papers, Nuova Editoriale, claiming that it is ''clearly (a) sham'' created for the sole purpose of collecting state funds allocated to publications unable to finance themselves.

According to prosecutors Nuova Editoriale also issued false invoices and faked circulation figures in order to qualify for the funds.