Fraud related to agricultural funds and tax fraud in Sicily

PALERMO (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The Guardia di Finanza in Palermo is carrying out a preventive seizure order of over €7 million requested by the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) in Palermo. The suspects had obtained funds from the Sicilian rural development programme (PSR Sicilia) to construct a livestock farming complex with an attached slaughterhouse. They issued invoices with a higher price than the actual price of their expenses, which led to inflated invoices of over €12 million (VAT incl.).
The officials of the Sicilian Region, who were misled by the supposed over-invoicing, consequently attributed undue public contributions over €5 million to the company. In addition, the estimated damage of the tax fraud is of almost €2 million. Hence, a preventive seizure order of over €7 million was issued to recover the damages.
The European contribution to the Sicilian rural development programme (PSR Sicilia) amounts to 45% and is financed by the European agricultural fund for rural development (EAFRD).
The suspects used multiple contractual arrangements and related invoices between companies formally distinct from each other, but indeed attributable to a single business group, aimed at increasing the cost of the assets reported to the Sicilian Region for obtaining public subsidies.
The supplies subject to public contribution would have undergone purely paper-based “handovers” between several companies owned by the suspects with the aim to artificially increase the final investment costs submitted to the Sicilian Region.
foto Guardia di finanza

Source: medNews