Intends to present himself to the authorities – Corallo “vehemently stands by his innocence”

POSTED: 10/18/12 12:32 PM

St. Maarten – Atlantis World Group and B Plus Giocolegale owner Francesco Corallo maintains that he is innocent of the charges brought against him by Italian prosecutors. Currently, Corallo is listed as wanted by Italy for cross-border crime on the Interpol website.
Since that posting in early August, Corallo has gone underground. His attorneys have offered his surrender to the public prosecutor’s office in St. Maarten on the condition that he will not be incarcerated pending the outcome of an extradition procedure. Attorney General Dick Piar has refused to even negotiate about terms of surrender.
Corallo’s whereabouts are unknown and the prosecutor’s office in St. Maarten is not actively looking for the casino boss.

Answering a question from this newspaper, Rudolf Baetsen, the Chief Financial Officer of the Atlantis World Group, confirmed yesterday that Corallo “vehemently stands by his innocence” and that he will fight to defend himself against the allegations. “He will present himself to the authorities when he is comfortable that he can continue to freely defend himself. Considering the current media frenzy this is as important now as it has been in the past.”
Corallo said in an interview with the British gaming industry magazine G3 in September that the allegations brought against him in Italy are inspired by competitors in the Italian gaming market who are after B Plus’ lucrative licenses for video lottery terminals.
In June, when Reuters reported that there was an arrest warrant out for Corallo in connection with a questionable loan from the Banco Popolare di Milan (BPM) to B Plus, Corallo issued a press statement in which he denied any wrongdoing. He also stated that his €105 million ($132.3 million) loan with BPM was in good standing. In the interview with G3 Magazine the casino boss repeated this position. Today published an extensive excerpt from the G3-interview in its September 10 issue.

Corallo’s name surfaces twice in recent weeks in Curacao; first when a letter from ousted Prime Minister Gerrit Schotte surfaced in which he asked Italian authorities for a statement of good behavior for Corallo and this week when whistleblower site Curaleaks published private banking information from Schotte’s girlfriend Cicely van der Dijs that suggest B Plus paid close to $215,000 into that account in the run-up to the 2010 elections.

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