Home News Bologna, extortion and threats to manage a retirement home: arrests and kidnappings

Bologna, extortion and threats to manage a retirement home: arrests and kidnappings

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BOLOGNA – They had taken over the management of a retirement home on the Bolognese Apennines, Alto Reno Terme, emptying the old company, which was failing, of liquidity, leading it to bankruptcy and creating a new cooperative, using some nominees for this. Furthermore, the alleged criminal group would have threatened and intimidated the employees of the structure, with “typically mafia modalities”, for the investigators, in order to have them first discharged and then summarized in the new reality.

This was discovered by the ‘Ragnatela’ operation of the Carabinieri and Guardia di Finanza which led to a precautionary custody order against two Crotonese and a preventive seizure against them and another 21 natural or legal persons for two million. The measures were issued by the Gip of the Court of Bologna, Alberto Ziroldi, at the request of the prosecutor of the Dda Roberto Ceroni.

The accusations, for various reasons for 23 suspects, are criminal association, extortion aggravated by the mafia method, fraudulent bankruptcy of assets, documents and for malicious operations, fraudulent subtraction from the payment of taxes, issuing of invoices for non-existent operations, spending and introduction into the State of counterfeit coins. The seizure involved two Lombard companies (a real estate company in Brescia and a retail store of current monopoly goods in the Milanese hinterland) and liquid assets.

The group, present in the territory of Gaggio Montano, had entered the management in 2015, according to carabinieri and finance, for the sole purpose of distracting the corporate assets, consisting of the company and the building, worth over seven and a half million. To do so, they would have entered into a false business lease agreement between the newly acquired company and a specially formed cooperative to make the goods unappetizing on the market. Meanwhile, the old company, burdened with debts for 4.4 million mainly towards the tax authorities and social security and welfare institutions, was brought to bankruptcy and emptied of the liquidity still remaining in current accounts.

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Employees would have been forced to resign voluntarily after repeated threats, intimidating attitudes and various kinds of prevarications: demotion, failure to pay wages and use of forced holidays. They were then hired by the new company and, if they refused, they would be fired on the spot.

In addition, fictitious hires were found, invoices for non-existent transactions issued by compliant subjects, for restructuring work never carried out, fictitious purchases of assets and services never received, and company accounts and credit cards used for purchases unrelated to corporate purposes. Among the assets seized, cash for 120 thousand euros, a real estate company, a retail store of monopoly goods, two cars and nine fine watches.

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