Ancona, 27 July 2020 – Criminal association, fraudulent bankruptcy, tax offenses, recycling and self-recycling. These are the accusations with which, at dawn today, the financiers they executed 12 ordinances of application of the measure of pre-trial detention including 9 in prison and three under house arrest.

According to investigators, the organization which sees 132 other people involved, would have repeatedly expressed the intention of use its companiesto advance requests for take advantage of discounts and measures to support the economy allocated following the Covid-19 emergency.

From the early hours of today morning, beyond 200 financiers of the Economic and Financial Police Unit of Ancona, of the Central Criminal Investigation Investigation Service, of the Fermo Group and of the Company of Civitanova Marche have implemented the orders for the application of the precautionary custody measure in prison issued by the investigating judge at the Court of Ancona, on request from the local District Anti-Mafia Directorate, and to the domiciliary staff (issued by the investigating magistrate of the Court of Ascoli Piceno at the request of the local Public Prosecutor).

Operation Background

The measure stems from a broad investigation activity – called the “Background” transaction – which started in 2017 – under the coordination of the Dda of Ancona and developed by the Yellow Flames who managed to trace numerous elements acquired to the system starting from a financial report by the National Anti-Mafia Directorate together with precious elements acquired during tax audits and controls.

The reported financial operations were characterized by a huge flow of money “decanted” from bank and / or postal current accounts referable to joint stock companies on bank and / or postal relationships attributable to natural persons, owners of sole proprietorships, who proceeded, at the same time and for amounts equal to the credits received, to withdraw cash.

Criminal association

The complex investigations developed have made it possible to acquire concrete elements about the existence of an entrenched criminal association, at least since 2014, throughout the Marche region, who actually managed 90 companies, between limited companies and sole proprietorships, through which invoices have been issued for non-existent transactions, for a total amount of approximately 130 million euros – subject to specific financial analyzes – in favor of “customers” operating in numerous Regions, including Lazio, Veneto, Campania, Lombardia , Tuscany, Valle d’Aosta, Emilia Romagna, Abruzzo and of course the Marche.

The acquired evidence that emerged has, in fact, made it possible to highlight the areas in which, through the use of a complex and complex network of existing interests between natural and legal persons, with ramifications also in foreign states, a criminal association is involved in the commission of various crimes.

Dominus and interceptions

It is the same dominus of the association (46 year old MC, originally and residing in Montegranaro di Fermo) which states: “…No, but so much finance on my one … that is, with me, I can’t make it because I have 50 companies … all connected … all a mixture that seems … that it takes 20 years to find a crack … it takes 20 years for finance to find a crack … understood?”.

This corporate network was conceived, set up and organized in such a way as to guarantee the association, which actually managed it, multiple forms of income through the commission of offenses identifiable in the cases represented by money laundering, self-money laundering, fraudulent document and property bankruptcy, fraud against the State and tax offenses.

It is a criminal organization that includes, among its main promoters, organizers and executors, individuals with multiple criminal records specific and even a subject several times “suspected” to belong to environments of the organized Sicilian and Campania underworld.

The illicit criminal scheme provided for the instrumental use of a plurality of legal entities (companies and sole proprietorships), replaced over time by new ones, through which issue invoices for non-existent transactions in favor of third parties who, in this way, take advantage of the double advantage constituted, prima facie, by the possibility of using fictitious costs for the determination of business income and VAT credit, as well as being refunded the money paid, against invoices false receipts, after which, through a well-established banking system, is ultimately withdrawn in cash by the owners of sole proprietorships who serve the interests of the members of the association. The organization could also count on a consolidated operating base also abroad where the “profits” achieved by the implementation of the illicit crime scheme were brought together.

Among the countries identified, almost all of Eastern Europe with the exception of Delaware (Usa)there are Hungary, the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Moldova.

Covid emergency

The elements acquired by the Yellow Flames during some interceptions in which the aforementioned dominus of the criminal association clearly highlighted the intent to use its many convenience companies to make requests to take advantage of the benefits and measures to support the economy set aside following the Covid-19 emergency for hundreds of thousands of euros, exploiting the fakes
business volumes generated in the past by these companies. In particular, the text of some conversations that took place between the suspects which are reported below are excerpted: Subject A: “… are you also carrying out the financing of the decree?
Master: “… yes yes, we are working on this morning and evening! … then afterwards I wanted to practice, because I am doing it for all companies”.

Only thanks to today’s intervention by the Financiers this criminal project had no concrete realization. One of the strands of the complex service operation, in the context of which the traces of a hundred and thirty million euros were followed, regards, in particular, the conduct
criminally relevant fraudulent bankruptcy arising from the bankruptcy of seven companies operating in the leather and plastics commercial sector based in Market, in Emilia Romagna, in Lazio and in Lombardy, used by the association.

The funds collected by the latter, against the issue of invoices for non-existent transactions, have been gradually distracted in favor of other individual companies, headed to dummy, leaving them without the economic resources necessary to fulfill tax obligations and, therefore, “abandoned” after being used for a limited period of time. These facts are the specific object of the precautionary measures carried out in

Bankrupt and home financier companies

The sum distracted by the bankrupt companies totals fifteen and a half million euros, while the amount of money laundered amounts to a total of twenty-six million euros. One of the recipients of the measures of the house arrest, ordered by the magistrate of Ascoli Piceno, is a member of the Corps, at the time of the disputed facts on duty in Fermo, which would have revealed to a suspect news on the existence of the ongoing criminal case.

The stripped accountant

The entire operation of the fraudulent system was based, as mentioned, on availability of cash used to facilitate the return of sums of money to users of false invoices, net of a “commission” withheld for the services provided. Financial resources, accumulated over time by the criminal network, which, also making use of a accountant cleared (in respect of which the personal precautionary measure of the prison was also ordered), as well as to feed and reiterate the criminal conduct found, were also used for a reuse in lawful activities that, through an articulated path, guaranteed the members of the partnership revenues deriving from commercial sectors no longer attributable to the illegal activities discovered.

At the same time as the execution of the aforementioned personal precautionary measures, the Financiers are employed in the execution of approx 80 searches in order to acquire additional sources of evidence useful for investigations.