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64.7 million seized from GS of the Carrefour group

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The Economic and Financial Police Unit of the Gdf of Milan seized 64.7 million euros for tax fraud from the company GS spa of the Carrefour Italia supermarket group in one of the investigations of the Milan prosecutor Paolo Storari into the so-called “manpower reservoirs”: a alleged system, as emerged in other similar investigations such as the Esselunga case, through which large companies guarantee themselves “highly competitive rates” on the market by “contracting labor” irregularly for logistics and “goods handling” services.

The investigations, which today led to the emergency preventive seizure decree signed by the prosecutor, with the collaboration of the Illegal Crimes Fighting Sector of the Revenue Agency, focus on, as the prosecutor Marcello Viola explains in a note, “the phenomenon of the illicit supply of labour”. The investigations concern “a complex tax fraud deriving from the use, by the final beneficiary”, i.e. GS, “of the illicit invoice mechanism for legally non-existent operations against the stipulation of fictitious procurement contracts for the supply of labour, in violation of the sector legislation, which led to the issuing and consequent use of false documents for a total amount exceeding 362 million euros”.
In particular, by reconstructing “the ‘manpower supply chain’, it was found that the working relationships” with GS “were ‘shielded’ by ‘filter’ companies which in turn made use of various cooperative companies (‘tank’ companies ), who systematically failed to pay VAT, as well as social security and welfare costs” for workers.
“Searches are underway in the provinces of Milan, Lodi, Pavia and Turin against the natural and legal persons involved, with simultaneous notification of the guarantee information, also on the subject of administrative liability of the entities in relation to the criminal offenses committed by the company’s managers , in favor of the latter”.
In June last year, among other things, in one of the many investigations of this kind, 48 million euros were seized in Esselunga, after cases involving, among others, Dhl, Gls, Uber, Brt and Geodis .

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From the seizure decree it appears that GS spa, which has over 1500 points of sale, including hypermarkets and supermarkets, in Italy, with a recorded turnover of over 4 billion euros in 2022, is investigated under the law on the administrative responsibility of entities . And for the alleged tax frauds, between April 2019 and March 2023, four “top individuals” of the company are under investigation, namely Andrea Leoncelli, Julian Mariano Martinez Saez, Alessia Lippi and Marco Schiavi. Among the main suppliers of labor to the supermarket chain, as stated, is Cedica srl, later “incorporated” into Samag Holding spa. Also in the documents is the phenomenon, already highlighted in other similar cases, of the so-called “transhumance of labour”, which occurs when the “reservoir companies”, often set up as cooperatives, have a “short corporate life”, alternate “over time “, are divested after accumulating “large tax debts”, with workers moving from a closed company to a newly opened one.

Read the full article on ANSA.it

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