Anna Bettozzi was found with €300,000 in cash when her Rolls-Royce was pulled over in 2019
Dozens of people have been arrested, including an oil heiress and singer who was found with €300,000 (£260,000) in cash when her Rolls-Royce was pulled over in 2019, as Italian police disrupted a massive fuel fraud by mafia groups.
Police also seized nearly €1bn in assets linked to mafia money laundering and tax fraud through oil products in a series of scams known as “Operation PetrolMafias”.
Allegedly carried out by different clans within the Naples’ Camorra and Calabrian ’Ndrangheta syndicates, the various schemes underscored the “nefarious synergy between mafias and white-collar criminals”, prosecutors said in a statement.
Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán’s family members are refusing to cough up attorney’s fees unless they hear the kingpin himself order the payment, it was revealed in court Thursday.
Guzmán – in what would have been his first public words since his extradition in Jan. 2017– stood shakily, clutching a piece of paper in his hand, before prosecutor Andrea Goldbarg interjected and said she was worried he’d use the opportunity to pass secret messages.
“He desires to speak to the court directly,” defense attorney A. Eduardo Balarezo said in Brooklyn federal court Thursday, as his client was overheard telling his interpreter in Spanish, “I am sick for all the situation.”
“He wants his family to know they should pay his attorney,” Balarezo continued. “Obviously he wants me to take my fees, and sometimes people need to hear that directly from the horse’s mouth.”
A suspected Connecticut mobster may be in on the largest art heist in U.S. history — a $500 million mystery that has remained unsolved for 26 years.
FBI agents returned to the Manchester home of Robert Gentile Monday, marking the third time they’ve raided the 79-year-old alleged mob member’s house.
Federal prosecutors believe Gentile — who is currently behind bars for illegally selling prescription drugs and possessing guns — knows about the 1990 theft at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.
Thirteen pieces of art worth an estimated $500 million were stolen and never recovered. The swiped haul included the only seascape legendary Dutch painter Rembrandt ever painted, several paintings by Edgar Degas and one by Johannes Vermeer, a Dutch artist who left behind just 31 known works.
No one was ever arrested.
Federal officials declined to say why FBI agents went to Gentile’s home Monday. Gentile’s lawyer, A. Ryan McGuigan, also declined to comment.
“The FBI is conducting court-authorized activity … in connection with an ongoing federal investigation,” said Kristen Setera, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Boston. “We will have no further comment at this time.”
Gentile has told authorities that he doesn’t know anything about the stolen paintings, and McGuigan has denied prosecutors’ allegations that Gentile is a made member of the Philadelphia Mafia.
But prosecutors said that locked-up Gentile has bragged about his knowledge of the paintings: He talked about the stolen works with at least three fellow prisoners at his Rhode Island jail, giving them information on who to call about the art and what code name to use.
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An alleged mafia chief’s appetite for pizza has cost him his freedom.
Roberto Manganiello, 35, an alleged boss in Naples’ notorious Camorra mafia in southern Italy, has been arrested by detectives disguised as pizza boys who delivered food to his home as he was watching a football match.
Mr Manganiello, one of Italy’s most-wanted crime bosses, had been on the run since 2013.
He was watching the Naples-Inter soccer match on Saturday with his girlfriend when the operation took place this weekend in Caserta, near Naples.
He has been sought since 2013 for two killings in 2004 that launched a clan feud. Police said he also ran a drug and extortion ring and he has been listed as one of “Italy’s 100 most dangerous criminals”.
Mr Manganiello was unarmed and did not resist arrest. A 30-year-old Neapolitan woman was arrested with him.
Angelino Alfano, the interior minister, said on Sunday the arrest was “the result of a high-level investigation” with coordination across several agencies.
It was reported by Germany’s Deutsche Welle that the investigation included at least 50 people working in a team tracking his movements.
Adding to Mr Manganiello’s humiliation, Milan defeated his home team 2-0, all but crushing Naples’ hopes of a first Serie A title in 26 years.
Congress is achingly close to passing broad, bipartisan legislation that would reform the federal criminal justice system. There is widespread agreement among liberals and conservatives that many parts of the system — particularly federal drug sentencing laws — are overly harsh and fall disproportionately on minorities.
So it is troubling that the whole enterprise may now be in jeopardy because of an unrelated issue: the dispute over whether prosecutors should be required to prove that corporate defendants knowingly violated laws protecting, among other things, the environment and public health and safety.
While most criminal laws require the government to prove “mens rea,” or intent on the part of the defendant, some do not, and the proposed change would apply indiscriminately to all of those. Ignorance of the law is generally not an excuse for breaking it, and it certainly should not be turned into an excuse when the action inflicts serious harm to large numbers of people or to the environment.
Leading the charge to change the standard are the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and Koch Industries, the conglomerate owned by David and Charles Koch, who have also supported the wider criminal-justice reforms.
If the new provision becomes law, corporate actors could avoid prosecution by claiming, as they commonly do now, that they didn’t know what they were doing was illegal. And corporations that now go to great lengths to train employees on their legal responsibilities would have far less incentive to do so.
The proposed provision would require that prosecutors prove that a defendant “knew, or had reason to believe, the conduct was unlawful,” if a “reasonable person” would not have had reason to believe it was unlawful. This confusing standard would create endless litigation as the government and defendants argued over how, exactly, to meet it in each new case.
If anything, it is still too hard for prosecutors to go after corporate bad actors who endanger the health and safety of the public or the environment. And when they do bring charges, they’re generally doing so with good reason. A University of Michigan study examining almost 700 prosecutions brought under federal environmental laws between 2005 and 2010 found that virtually all involved one or more of the following: repeat violations of the law, deceptive or misleading conduct, a refusal to follow regulations at all, or actions that caused significant harm to the environment or to public health.
It is true that many federal laws are sloppily drafted, and some may need to be re-examined and rewritten. But a broad, sloppy fix is not a solution, especially when it is pushed through without meaningful deliberation.
Bipartisan agreement on any major legislative package is a rare and fragile thing these days. Congressional leaders should not allow the proposed “mens rea” provision to scuttle criminal-justice reforms the nation desperately needs.