12 Feb 2016
Guardia di Finanza, the Italian finance police, has launched a probe into 35 Italian football clubs for alleged tax evasion and false invoicing.
Well-known football clubs including AC Milan, Napoli and Lazio are among the 35 clubs being investigated. A Naples prosecutor who spoke to the BBC revealed that 58 individuals involved in professional football are also being investigated in relation to the alleged fraud, including Vice President of AC Milan, Adriano Galliani, owner of Napoli, Aurelio De Laurentiis and President of Lazio, Claudio Lotito.
The investigation, dubbed ‘Operation Offside’, is being led by Naples prosecutors Danilo De Simone, Stefano Capuano and Vincenzo Ranieri, and is thought to concern alleged false player transactions.
Italian police are executing several search warrants to seize assets to the reported value of €12million.
Lawyers representing AC Milan and Galliani released a statement on the club’s official website denying all allegations, stating that they expect the case to be dismissed.
With the FIFA corruption scandal still ongoing, news of this investigation into alleged financial crimes comes at a time when faith in footballing bodies is at an all-time low.
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