A real fake poor man. For almost 40 years, this 72-year-old entrepreneur, who lives near Modena in Emilia-Romagna (north), led the administration to believe that he was living almost penniless. However, it is indeed five apartments, six life insurances, bank accounts and various valuables among which luxury watches and paintings signed by painters like De Chirico that the latter was recently confiscated.
The Italian financial police indeed seized a million euros worth of property from this man who declared himself poor in the tax department but had, among other things, a Ferrari and a 12-meter boat, reports the Italian agency AGI on Friday.
The financial police investigation thus highlighted the glaring gap between the income declared to the tax authorities by the fraudster over the years and the accumulation of valuable goods, some of which had been put in the name of his wife or wires to cover their tracks.
12 million tax debts
According to investigators, this tax fraud, which extended over forty years, allowed its author to lead a lifestyle out of proportion to the declared income, often at the edge of the poverty line. In total, there would be a difference of around 7 million euros between declared income and the actual accumulated wealth. The debts to the tax authorities would also amount to more than 12 million euros.
Italy, the third largest economy in the euro zone, has been facing a serious tax evasion problem for years. According to estimates by the Ministry of Finance, this causes the state to lose 109 billion euros each year. Despite this scourge, the Italian tax authorities have lost more than 8,000 tax inspectors in eight years, according to the daily Il Corriere della Sera.