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Italy and Bulgaria Bust ‘Cloned’ Companies Tax Evasion Scheme

Construction Scams

Italy and Bulgaria Bust ‘Cloned’ Companies Tax Evasion Scheme

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Italian and Bulgarian authorities busted an elaborate tax scam that deprived the Italian budget of at least 69 million euro (US$72.8 million), Eurojust said in a statement.

‘Clones’ of some Italian companies were registered in Bulgaria, to avoid taxes in Italy. (Photo: Nick Youngson, Pix4free, License)During the operation that saw raids at 29 locations, police identified 26 suspects “who had illegally changed or ‘cloned’ Italian into Bulgarian enterprises, to avoid paying tax.” it said.

Without actually transferring over ownership, the suspects administratively altered the registration of businesses in the tourism, construction, and food distribution sectors from Italian to Bulgarian, this way avoiding taxes in Italy since 2013.

The unlawful activities were mostly concentrated in Italy’s province of Benevento, although raids were carried out also in Avellino, Rome, Milan, Naples, Cosenza, and Varese, as well as Sofia and Plovdiv in Bulgaria.

Italian authorities seized a hotel, several properties and other assets totalling 11 million euro ($11.61 million), while Bulgarian authorities froze bank accounts and suspended ownership of the ‘cloned’ Italian companies in that country.

Public Prosecutor’s Office Benevento, Guardia di Finanza Benevento and Naples, as well as Bulgaria’s Specialized Public Prosecutor’s Office in Sofia participated in the operation targeting the ‘cloned’ companies.

According to Bulgarian media, the Italian companies were not…

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