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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Criminal Justice Quote: Monsignor Nunzio Scarano: The Money-Laundering Priest

     A Vatican monsignor on trial for allegedly plotting to smuggle 20 million euros ($26 million) from Switzerland to Italy was arrested on Tuesday, January 21, 2014 in a separate case for allegedly using his Vatican bank accounts to launder money. Financial police in the southern Italian city of Salerno said Monsignor Nunzio Scarano had transferred millions of euros in fictitious donations from offshore companies through his accounts at the Vatican's Institute for Religious Works. Police said millions have been seized and that other arrest warrants were also issued….

     The Salerno investigation was already underway when Scarano, dubbed "Monsignor 500" for his purported favored banknotes, was arrested in June in Rome on the smuggling accusations. Prosecutors say he, a financier and a carabinieri officer devised an elaborate plot to transport 20 million euros in a private jet from Switzerland to Italy to avoid paying customs duties. The plot fell apart because the financier reneged at the last minute….Scarano was fired from his job as an accountant in the Vatican's main financial office and his accounts at the Vatican bank were frozen by Vatican authorities after his arrest.

Nicole Winfield, "Vatican Monsignor Arrested for Money Laundering," Bloomberg Businessweek, January 21, 2014 

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