Milanese prosecutors want to take Corallo to court

POSTED: 08/7/14 12:07 AM

GREAT BAY – Atlantis World Group and BPlus Giocolegale beneficial owner Francesco Corallo is one of sixteen suspects the Milanese prosecutors Roberto Pellicano and Mauricio Clerici want to take to court for conspiracy and embezzlement, the Italian newspaper La Repubblica reported. The charges are linked to what the prosecutors consider illegal loans the Banco Popolare di Milano (BPM) granted to a string of businesses in exchange for kickbacks.

The prosecutors have demand that Massimo Ponzellini, the former head of BPM, and fifteen others go on trial. A judge on instruction will have to examine the request and set a date for a preliminary hearing.

Among the suspect the prosecutors want to take to court are Ponzellini’s right hand Antonio Cannelire, Corallo and Alessandro Lamonica, who is, according to Repubblica, close to Corallo.

According to Pellicano and Clerici, BPM created under the guidance of Ponzellini “a structure running parallel and diverted to personal interests that provided loans for more than €230 million ($310 million) in exchange for payments that totaled €2 million ($2.7 million).”

The suspects have challenged several of the accusations. La Repubblica mentions loans to the Scuteri Group for €19 million that gave Ponzellini €900,000 in promised kickbacks of which in the end €537,000 was paid, an €8 million line of credit to the Bialetti holding (a company that holds or owns securities of companies other than banks) that yielded €400,000 in kickbacks and a €9 million loan to the Elle Kappa real estate company for which Ponzellini allegedly took €142,000 in payments.

The La Repubblica article mentions several other questionable loans and the kickbacks they generated, but it does not refer to the loan Corallo’s BPlus Giocolegale took out in 2004. Initial reports in Italian media spoke of a $200 million loan, but when Corallo later emphatically stated that there was nothing wrong with this loan, he mentioned an amount of €105 million (around $142 million at the current rate of exchange). Ponzonelli received $7 million for granting this loan, the Italian prosecutors have charged. Corallo has maintained consistently that the loan is in good standing and that no kickbacks were paid.

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