Italian Police Arrest Panama Papers “Fixer”
Financial police in Rome said they arrested on Tuesday Gian Luca Apolloni, a purported top-level “fixer” named in the Panama Papers, as well as entrepreneur Roberto Lagana on charges of aggravated tax fraud.
local media reported.According to the accusations, Lagana’s company, RTS, counterfeited financial records to claim various unearned tax credits and exemptions,
Under Apolloni’s guidance, the company faked investments in disadvantaged areas of Southern Italy to take advantage of programs in the tax code meant to stimulate development in economically and socially distressed neighborhoods.
Through this scheme, the company avoided paying over US$17.5 million in taxes and social security.
Apolloni is also accused of defrauding eight people of some $2.3 million by giving them phony financial advice, taking payments from the individuals for services he never actually provided.
Apolloni and Lagana face charges of aggravated fraud, tax fraud, social security fraud, and credit card fraud.
As part of the operation, authorities also seized assets worth more than US$40 million.
Apolloni, an Italian accountant with operations across the globe, was allegedly a middleman in the creation of over 200 offshore front companies in Panama. The shell companies were linked to entities based in Samoa, the Bahamas, Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, and Cyprus, according to local media.