Fraud Assets in the Millions Seized
At the beginning of April 2022, a joint operation between Italian and Austrian authorities that was also supported by Eurojust dismantled a massive fraud scheme depriving Italian authorities of at least €440 million. Under the scheme, Italian companies were used to sell false tax credits, to simulate business leases in order to obtain COVID-19-related compensation, and to simulate tax credits for false works to improve the safety and energy consumption of the companies. As a result of the operation, 12 suspects were arrested and approximately 90% of the proceeds recovered. The seized assets included cryptocurrencies as well as gold, platinum, and watches of high value. Eurojust supported the operation coordinating cross-border judicial cooperation. This included assistance in the execution of a European Investigation Order and a freezing order in Austria issued by the Italian authorities.