Covid: Maxi scam for emergency bonuses, 110 million euros seized

Maxi scam to grab bounties offered by the Italian government during the most severe phase of the Covid-19 health emergency to help businesses and merchants in difficulty. For this reason, the financiers of the Regional Command implemented an urgent preventive seizure order issued by the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Rome for more than 110 million euros in tax exemptions.

The survey arises from a risk analysis developed by the Revenue Agency on the entitlement to the “bonuses” stipulated in the 2020 “Restart” and “Cora Italia” decree, linked to the rental costs of real estate for non-residential use and recognized in the form of tax credits equal to a proportion of the royalties already paid ( up to 60%). The crime of prosecutors is the crime of defrauding both the bona fide third parties and the state. These tax benefits can be used directly for settling tax debts, or remitted, albeit partially and more often, for the same purpose, by communicating – both the transferee and the transferee – through the “balance transfer” computer platform provided by the Revenue Agency.

Investigations have highlighted the alleged fictitiousness of the tax credits, which were transmitted via a website to a company – based in the capital but operating across Italy – which proposed itself online as a legal entity capable of making clients obtain ‘liquidity through the immediate release of tax credits’. derived from the Special Regulations”, purchase and pay them immediately upon making – as mentioned – documentary checks on their authenticity, and then transfer them to third parties for a fee. In the first ten months of 2021, the company in question purchased tax credits with a nominal value of more than 110 million euros from several people who, based on the preliminary results, would be without entrepreneurial consistency or, in any case, could not benefit from the mentioned tax exemptions. above. Among the inconsistencies that were found, hypotheses emerged in which the data of entrepreneurs for whom a lease was not registered in the interest period were entered into the IT platform managed by the Finance Department, or in the face of tax returns submitted in modest amounts, they would incur rental costs of up to Hundreds of thousands of euros annually.

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The investigations also made it possible to find that the part of the tax exemptions, with a face value of 44 million euros, was sold by the company to a series of natural and legal persons, who were tempted by the possibility of buying “spendable” bonuses with a discount on their face value; For about 10 million euros, it was “monetised” by selling it to financial intermediaries. In order to stop the circulation of the credits, the Public Prosecutor issued an emergency precautionary measure, relating to the company’s shares and assets of the Romanian company, to the website through which it promoted its business and to the full amount of the credits to who is still the same owner or has already been sold.

Thelma Binder

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