Italy Probes 82 ex-Finmeccanica Staff for Embezzlement, Tax Evasion
(Source: DPA News; posted March 15, 2017)
ROME --- A total of 82 managers and employees of the Italian aerospace and defence conglomerate formerly known as Finmeccanica SpA are under investigation for embezzlement and tax evasion, police said Wednesday.

The suspects, many of whom are retired or no longer employed at the firm, are accused of misappropriating more than 3 million euros (3.2 million dollars) from company coffers in 2008-14 in order to line their own pockets.

Additionally, police also accuse them of establishing a dummy company in Luxembourg that allowed the firm to dodge 135 million euros in corporate taxes.

The suspects have been notified of the end of the investigation, which in Italy is usually a prelude to an indictment.

Finmeccanica changed its name to Leonardo SpA at the start of the year. Current management is not implicated in the probe and is cooperating with the investigation, police said.

Leonardo placed ninth in the top 10 list of global defence companies with sales of 9.3 billion dollars in 2015, according to estimates by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) out in January this year.

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