What are the risks of “members of a criminal organization”, guilty of an immense VAT fraud in Italy, of creating “invoices or other documents to justify non-existent transactions”, and of laundering more than 10 million dollars? euros in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino? Six months suspended.
It is the sentence that the federal prosecutor Sergio Mastroianni has just inflicted on two brothers, Filippo and Matteo Magnone, incidentally helped by their father, Paolo Magnone. And these eminent members of the Camorra, the Neapolitan mafia, have even escaped a trial, which is always damaging to the reputation of the defendants. They received their convictions by post, via criminal orders.
To justify such derisory sentences, the public prosecutor of the Confederation highlights “the long time elapsed” and “the cooperative attitude” of the delinquents. In general, the packages take place abroad, Switzerland is only used to launder money that has not been diverted on its territory. She therefore does not really feel aggrieved.
Admittedly, since October 10, 1997, there has been a federal law on money laundering (LBA) which requires financial intermediaries to be vigilant as to the source of funds. But to condemn a banker is messy. As a result, a trust company in Ticino, which helped the Magnone brothers to wash the dirty money from the Camorra, was acquitted by the Federal Criminal Court (TPF)… because the facts were prescribed.
Ten million confiscated
These repetitive stories of money laundering would go under the radar if they were not unearthed by the Gotham City site, which specializes in current affairs “by judicial sources”. He tells us that if the Magnone brothers are doing well in criminal matters, Swiss justice has on the other hand taken control of their savings. Filippo had 1.3 million Swiss francs (1.2 million euros) confiscated from his bank accounts, plus 1.6 million francs (1.47 million euros) in cash. And as a bonus, twenty large diamonds. As for his brother Matteo, he lost 7 million francs (6.4 million euros) in the operation. It remains to be seen whether the two brothers will then be held accountable to the mafia.
Read also Switzerland: 5 months suspended prison sentence for laundering $ 35 million
The investigation showed that the Camorra was also getting richer by lending money to indebted Italian entrepreneurs at usurious rates that could reach… 40%. The sums recovered were then transferred to Switzerland (and sometimes to Hungary). With this story, we see once again that language and culture play a major role in money laundering cases. If the great majority of Italians stash their savings in Lugano, in the canton of Ticino, the French prefer Geneva, and the Germans, Zurich. As for the Belgians, they are divided on the choice of bankers, the Walloons, French-speaking, preferring the City of Calvin, the Flemings, the establishments of Lake Zurich.