MILAN 24 NEWS
Milan, investigation into bribes: 10 Leonardo managers and 2 Google companies under investigation
January 12, 2021
Documents acquired in the offices of Leonardo, in Rome and in Pomigliano d’Arco, as part of an investigation by the Milanese prosecutor Gaetano Ruta for money laundering, tax crimes and corruption between individuals. The operation was carried out by the soldiers of the economic-financial police unit of the Milan Finance Police. Ten managers of the Leonardo Group will have to answer for corruption between private individuals. In the investigation, which involves a total of 14 individuals and three legal persons, Google Ireland and Google Payments are also under investigation. The Leonardo Group, the injured party, collaborated with the investigations.
At the heart of the reconstruction of investigators and investigators is a Leonardo supplier, Transpart, an intermediary company in the distribution of parts, materials and equipment for the most diverse sectors, from military to aerospace, from transport to petrochemicals. Company based in Milan and in which 4 managers are being investigated, who, according to the investigations, in exchange for contracts would have paid Leonardo’s employees gifts and fees, also in the form of fictitious consulting contracts. This money, coming from black funds that the employees of the supplier company based in Corso Sempione, would have created by ‘diverting’ part of the proceeds of the (legitimate) orders to a US subsidiary, which, in turn, between 2012 and 2018 transferred, in the absence of contractual and accounting justifications, 6 million euros to three off-shore offices, one in Panama, one in the United Kingdom and one in Ireland.
The scheme hypothesized by the investigators
To bring the sum of money back to Italy for the purposes of paying bribes, this is the hypothesized scheme, it would be necessary to use two launderers who in turn would have used the payment platform Google Pay. In particular, with regard to this step, finance has reconstructed, between 2017 and 2019, 25 transactions from abroad to Italy for a total of 400 thousand euros. Operations that would have seen the interposition of two companies of the Mountain View giant in the channeling of the funds in order to hinder the identification of the authors of the transfers and the origin of the funding. For this reason, in addition to the 14 natural persons, Transpart in relation to tax crimes and money laundering and Google Ireland and Google Payments in relation to money laundering only are investigated under the corporate liability law.
Pm: “From Google company transfer black funds”
According to prosecutors, Google Ireland Ltd and Google Payments Ltd would have allowed “the transfer of sums of money resulting from tax fraud” hindering “the identification of the criminal origin”. The public prosecutor Ruta writes it in the charges of the order of performance of the documents. Through the “interposition” of the two companies it was not possible “to trace the identification of the person who arranged the transfers”.
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