Italian police have dug up an astonishing EUR 8 million in cash buried in a couple’s garden as part of a suspected complicated tax scam.
Investigators unearthered bundles of banknotes wrapped in plastic and concrete after they used an excavator on land around the pair’s farmhouse.
The suspects are said to have issued thousands of fake invoices worth EUR 500 million.
This allegedly allowed them to dodge tax to the tune of EUR 93 million, with the authorities having already seized EUR 95 million in suspicious funds before unearthing the EUR 8 million in cash – in EUR 50 and EUR 100 banknotes – buried in their garden, wrapped in plastic and placed in concrete containers.
Giuliano Rossini, 46, and his wife Silvia Fornari, 40, from Gussago, a town in Brescia province, in the northern Italian region of Lombardy, are reportedly accused of having issued thousands of fake invoices worth over EUR 500 million from 2018 onwards as part of activities that were to do with trading in ferrous metals.
The investigation, which is coordinated by prosecutor Claudia Passalacqua and currently has as many as 77 suspects, reportedly determined that the couple managed to dodge paying millions of euros in taxes by issuing the fake invoices. That excess cash was allegedly stored in bank account in Romania, Croatia, Bulgaria and even China before being funnelled into Italy.
But for a long time, the couple went unnoticed because they did not flaunt the wealth, according to Italian media, driving a small car instead and acting humbly.
Their 22-year-old son, named as Emanuele Rossini, allegedly helped his mother with delivering cash that was then buried in the garden. His mother’s sister, named as Marta Fornari, also allegedly helped.
But the Carabinieri and the Guardia di Finanza (the finance police) launched an investigation in 2019 after some of the invoices reportedly caught their attention. They have now reportedly frozen over EUR 95 million believed to have been used as part of the giant tax fraud.
The couple are alleged to have issued false invoices to the tune of approximately EUR 500 million, resulting in EU 93 million in evaded taxes, according to Italian media. It is currently unclear if the EUR 8 million recovered from the garden are included in this figure.
Giuliano Rossini is behind bars at the Cremona prison, while Silvia Fornari is locked up in Verziano.
Six other people are reportedly in custody in prison in connection with the case, while another 14 are under house arrest.
The case is ongoing.
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