Financial crime in Italy: overview

A Q&A guide to financial and business crime in Italy.

The Q&A gives a high level overview of matters relating to corporate fraud, bribery and corruption, insider dealing and market abuse, money laundering and terrorist financing, financial record keeping, due diligence, corporate liability, immunity and leniency, and whistleblowing.

To compare answers across multiple jurisdictions, visit the Country Q&A tool.

This Q&A is part of the global guide to financial and business crime. For a full list of jurisdictional Q&As visit www.practicallaw.com/resources/global-guides/financialcrime-guide.

Contents

Fraud

Regulatory provisions and authorities

1. What are the main regulatory provisions and legislation relevant to corporate or business fraud?

Regulatory authority

Criminal authority. Public prosecutors are responsible for the investigation and prosecution of all criminal offences, including business crimes. Public prosecutors are assisted by the police forces (which include the state police, the carabinieri (that is, the military police) and the financial police).

Public prosecutors are also responsible for investigating and prosecuting corporations, when criminal offences are committed by their managers or employees in the interest or for the benefit of the corporation. The prosecution of the corporation is categorised as administrative by the law, but is assessed by a criminal judge under the rules of criminal procedure, and the proceedings are usually joined with ones relating to the criminal responsibility of the managers or employees.

Public prosecutors are not part of the government but are professional magistrates, and their duty to bring criminal prosecutions is compulsory and not discretionary (see Question 29).

Administrative authorities. Individuals and companies engaged in business and corporate fraud are subject to administrative sanctions, which apply in parallel, and in addition to, criminal ones. These sanctions are set out in provisions that are enforced by independent sector-specific regulators who have the power to assess violations and apply the relevant administrative sanctions (see Question 4). The main regulator for fraud relating to financial instruments is the National Commission for Companies and the Stock Exchange (Consob).

For more information on the Public prosecutors and the Consob see box, The regulatory authorities.

Regulatory provisions

Criminal provisions. The main criminal provisions concerning business and corporate fraud are contained in the following Codes and Laws:

  • Italian Criminal Code (ICC), which provides for the general offences of fraud (Article 640), misappropriation (Article 646), and so on.

  • Civil Code (Articles 2621 ff.), which provides for the main offences committed by individuals in relation to the corporation's assets, activities, communications (that is, false accounting, and so on).

  • Legislative Decree no. 58/1998 (Finance Unified Text), which regulates the financial market, and provides for the offences of market manipulation (Article 185) and insider dealing (Article 184).

Administrative provisions. The main administrative provisions concerning business and corporate fraud are contained in the Finance Unified Text, which provides for the administrative sanctions related to market manipulation and insider dealing, which apply in addition to the criminal sanctions, either to the relevant individuals or corporations. The administrative sanctions mainly consist of significant fines, which are applied by Consob.

Offences

2. What are the specific offences relevant to corporate or business fraud?

The offences most commonly applied to corporate or business fraud are all non-strict liability offences (that is, they require intent by the perpetrator), and include:

  • Misappropriation. It is an offence for anyone to, in order to obtain an undue profit for himself or others, misappropriate money or a movable thing which he possesses under any title (Article 646, Italian Criminal Code (ICC)). For a criminal action to commence, a complaint must be filed by the injured person, unless there are aggravating circumstances. This offence is punishable by imprisonment of up to three years.

  • Fraud. The general fraud offence provides for the punishment of anyone who, through artifices or deceptions, induces someone in error, and obtains for himself or others an undue profit causing damage to others (Article 640, ICC). This offence is punishable by imprisonment from six months to three years.

    This general provision is used where other specific offences do not apply, and it expressly provides for an aggravating circumstance where the fraud is against the state, which increases the punishment up to five years' imprisonment.

  • Government-contracting fraud. This offence provides for imprisonment from one to five years for anyone who commits a fraud in the execution of supply contracts signed with the government or in the performance of the related contractual duties (Article 356, ICC).

  • Financial fraud offences. For these offences, including market manipulation and insider dealing, please see Questions 13 and 14.

  • Accounting and tax frauds. For these offences, see Question 24.

Enforcement

3. Which authorities have the powers of prosecution, investigation and enforcement in cases of corporate or business fraud? What are these powers and what are the consequences of non-compliance?

Public prosecutors

The public prosecutors have extensive powers of investigation. In particular, they are empowered to:

  • Compel a person to attend an interview (both witnesses and suspects, the latter, however, have the right not to answer).

  • Compel the provision of information and the production of specified things and documents (including documentation and correspondence possessed by banks).

  • Issue search warrants to search premises (where there are reasonable grounds to believe that there are items related to the crime in a certain place) and seize relevant items and documents (that is, items related to the crime, which are necessary for assessing the facts) (Article 253, Italian Code of Criminal Procedure (ICCP)).

  • Seize documentation relating to bank accounts where there are reasonable grounds to believe that they are related to a crime (Article 255, ICCP).

Public prosecutors do not have the power to issue phone tapping orders themselves but can make applications to a competent judge (Article 267, ICCP). In practice, judges usually authorise these applications.

Public prosecutors can also request the competent judge to issue a pre-trial custody order where serious elements of guilt exist and it is necessary to (Articles 272 to 273, ICCP):

  • Prevent a person absconding.

  • Prevent a person tampering with evidence.

  • Prevent further offences.

Public prosecutors can order the arrest (fermo) of a suspect, where there is a specific risk that he will abscond and he is seriously suspected of having committed a very serious offence (Article 384, ICCP). However, the arrest must be legitimised within a few days by a competent judge and, in order for detention to be extended, a pre-trial custody order must be issued by that judge.

Under criminal law, Italian courts have jurisdiction over all offences committed within Italian territory (that is, when at least some of the prohibited conduct takes place in Italy). Extra-territorial jurisdiction generally only applies in limited circumstances (for example, the presence of the suspect in Italy and a request of proceedings by the Italian Minister of Justice (Articles 9 and 10, ICC)).

Most of these powers of public prosecutors do not require the active co-operation of the target, and so there is limited room for non-compliance. In any case, non-compliance with orders issued by public prosecutors or judicial authorities usually results in the target being compelled to comply, and in certain cases can amount to a separate criminal offence.

Consob

The National Commission for Companies and the Stock Exchange (Consob) does not have any further powers of investigation, enforcement or prosecution.

Consob works to ensure the transparency and correct functioning of the financial market. It has extensive powers of investigation, including:

  • To compel companies' officers to attend an interview and to provide documentation.

  • To conduct inspections at companies' premises.

  • To seize assets, under specific conditions.

Consob may be assisted by the financial police, and is responsible for applying significant fines where it assesses the commission of relevant administrative violations.

In relation to non-compliance, see above, Public prosecutors.

Authorities

For more information on the public prosecutors and the Consob, see box: The regulatory authorities.

Prosecution powers

For more information on the public prosecutors and the Consob, see box: The regulatory authorities.

Powers of interview

For more information on the public prosecutors and the Consob, see box: The regulatory authorities.

Powers of search/to compel disclosure

For more information on the public prosecutors and the Consob, see box: The regulatory authorities.

Court orders or injunctions

Public prosecutors have the power to request a judge or court, even at a pre-trial stage, to issue the so-called "preventive seizure" (Article 321 ff. of the Code of Criminal Procedure),which is the typical measure aimed at freezing the proceeds of crime (and the instrumentalities of crime), in view of a future confiscation (when the final conviction sentence will be issued).

These freezing orders are in practice often granted by judges in the investigation stage. They are issued ex parte and are subsequently appealable before a Court of re-examination.

Protections available

Suspects required to attend interviews with public prosecutors and judicial police have a right of silence (privilege against self-incrimination), from which adverse inferences cannot legally be drawn. They also have a duty (not only the right) to have legal representation (Article 64 CCP). On the contrary, witnesses have a duty to answer questions truthfully (otherwise, the offence of false deposition is perpetrated) and do not have the right to legal representation.

Furthermore, public prosecutors theoretically lack the power to seize, or request the production of documents which are subject to legal professional privilege (that is, correspondence between the suspect and his defence lawyer; or documents regarding the suspect’s criminal defence) unless such documents represent the elements of the crime (Article 103 CCP). In practice, however, protection granted by legal professional privilege is very limited, and it is more effective at trial to prevent the use as evidence of documents covered by privilege, than at the stage of the investigations (where documents covered by privilege are often seized). In-house lawyers are not granted protection in the Italian system, and their activity and advice are not considered privileged.

Penalties

4. What are the potential penalties or liabilities for participating in corporate or business fraud?

Civil/administrative proceedings or penalties

Corporate liability. Corporations where criminal offences are committed by managers or employees in the interest or for the benefit of the corporation (see Question 1, Regulatory provisions: Administrative provisions) can be subject to penalties, fines, disqualifications and confiscation. Disqualifications can be particularly damaging, because they can include the suspension or revocation of government concessions, debarment, exclusion from government financing, and even prohibition from carrying on business activity (Articles 9 to 13, Legislative Decree no. 231/2001).

These sanctions can also be applied at a pre-trial stage during the investigations, as interim coercive measures (Article 45, Legislative Decree no. 231/2001).

Individual liability. There are no administrative sanctions and liabilities for individuals found guilty of fraud, with the exception of market manipulation and insider dealing violations.

Financial fraud is punished under the statutes for market manipulation and insider dealing, and the related administrative sanctions are applied by the National Commission for Companies and the Stock Exchange (Consob) (see Questions 1, 3 and 14).

Criminal proceedings or penalties

See Question 2.

Right to bail

There is no right to bail under Italian law (see Question 3).

Public prosecutors can request the competent judge to issue a pre-trial custody order where serious elements of guilt exist and it is necessary to (Articles 272 to 273, ICCP):

  • Prevent a person absconding.

  • Prevent a person tampering with evidence.

  • Prevent further offences.

To obtain the revocation of the custody order, or a more lenient measure (that is, house arrest), the target has to satisfy the public prosecutor and judge that serious elements of guilt do not exist, or needs of caution (preventing abscondence, and so on) were eliminated or reduced.

Penalties

See Question 2.

Civil suits

The level of civil damages is proportionate to the economic damage caused to the relevant parties and is assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Class actions were introduced to the Italian system on 1 January 2010 under the Finance Act 2008 (Article 140bis, Consumers Code). However, the scope of these actions is limited because they do not apply to torts and damage from financial products.

   

Bribery and corruption

Regulatory provisions and authorities

5. What are the main regulatory provisions and legislation relevant to bribery and corruption?

Regulatory authority

The public prosecutors are responsible for investigating bribery and corruption (see Question 1).

For more information on the public prosecutors and the National Commission for Companies and the Stock Exchange (Consob), see box: The regulatory authorities.

Regulatory provisions

Criminal provisions. The primary source of corruption offences is the Italian Criminal Code (ICC) (Articles 317 to 322ter and the new Article 346bis). The ICC prohibits the bribery of public officials and persons in charge of a public service, including employees of state-owned or state-controlled companies (where they carry out an activity governed by public law or of a public nature). Bribery offences relate to the conduct of a public official, or person in charge of a public service, who receives as consideration, or accepts the promise of, money or other advantages/other things of value, in relation to an act of his office.

The responsibility for corruption offences was originally reserved to individuals but in 2001 was extended to corporations, in relation to corruption offences committed by their managers or employees in the interest of, or for the benefit of, the corporation (Article 25, Legislative Decree no. 231/2001) (see Question 1, Regulatory provisions: Administrative provisions).

The Civil Code prohibits as a criminal offence the corruption of private corporate officers, under certain conditions (Article 2635) (see Question 7, Private commercial bribery). As yet, there is no relevant case law on this offence.

Administrative provisions. Non-criminal regulations specifically restrict the receipt of gifts and entertainment by:

  • Italian government members and their relatives (Decree of the Prime Minister of December 20, 2007).

  • Italian public administration employees (Presidential Decree no. 62 of April 16, 2013, providing for the Code of Conduct for employees of the public administration).

  • Employees of state-owned or state-controlled corporations (ethical codes of the relevant corporations).

For more information on the regulatory authority, see box: The regulatory authorities.

 
6. What international anti-corruption conventions apply in your jurisdiction?

The following European and international anti-corruption conventions apply:

  • The Convention on the fight against corruption involving officials of the European Communities or officials of Member States of the EU 1997 (ratified by Law no. 300/2000, entered into force on 26 October 2000).

  • OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions 1997 (ratified by Law no. 300/2000, entered into force on 26 October 2000).

  • UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime 2000 (ratified by Law no. 146/2006, entered into force on 12 April 2006).

  • UN Convention against Corruption 2003 (ratified by Law no. 116/2009, entered into force on 15 August 2009).

  • Council of Europe Criminal Law Convention on Corruption, Strasbourg, 27 January 1999, which has been ratified by Law no. 110/2012 which entered into force on 27 July 2012.

  • Council of Europe Civil Law Convention on Corruption 1999, which has been ratified by Law no. 112/2012, which entered into force on 28 July, 2012.

The process of ratification of the EU Framework Decision 2003/568/JHA of 22 July 2003, on Combating Corruption in the Private Sector, has started but no legislation has yet been issued.

Offences

7. What are the specific bribery and corruption offences in your jurisdiction?

Foreign public officials

Bribery offences relating to foreign public officials are provided for by Article 322bis of the Italian Criminal Code (ICC).

EU officials. Bribery of public officials of the EU institutions and EU member states is subject to the same bribery offences as for domestic public officials (see below) (Article 322bis, paragraphs 1 and 2, ICC).

Foreign and international officials. Bribery of public officials of foreign states and international organisations (such as the UN, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), European Council, and so on) is also subject to the same offences as for domestic officials (see below) (Article 322bis, paragraph 2, ICC), but with the following two significant limitations:

  • Only active corruption is punished (that is, only the private briber, on the assumption that the foreign public officials will be punished according to the laws of the relevant jurisdiction).

  • The act must be committed to obtain an undue advantage in international economic transactions or with the purpose of obtaining or maintaining an economic or financial activity (this last part of the prohibited conduct was recently introduced by Law no. 116/2009, which implemented the UN Convention against Corruption 2003).

Domestic public officials

Bribery offences relating to domestic public officials are provided for by Articles 318 to 322 of the ICC and by the new Article 346bis ICC. The offences, with some exceptions, apply to both the person making the bribe and the person receiving the bribe (Article 321, ICC). The ICC provides for the following forms of domestic bribery (bribery being an unlawful agreement between a public official and a briber):

  • Proper bribery. This occurs when the public official, in exchange for performing (or having performed) an act conflicting with the duties of his office, or in exchange for omitting or delaying (or having omitted or delayed) an act of his office, receives money or other things of value, or accepts a promise of them (Article 319, ICC).

  • Bribery for the performance of the function. This occurs when the public official, in connection with the performance of his functions or powers, unduly receives, for him or for a third party, money or other things of value or accepts the promise of them (Article 318, ICC).

    Law no. 190/2012 has significantly broadened the reach of this offence. It now relates to the receiving of money or other things of value, by the public official, either in exchange for carrying out a specific act not conflicting with the public official duties, or for generally putting the public office at the potential availability of the briber, even in the absence of carrying out a specific public act for the briber.

  • Bribery in judicial acts. This occurs when the bribe is taken for favouring or damaging a party in a civil, criminal or administrative proceeding (Article 319ter, ICC).

  • Unlawful inducement to give or promise anything of value. This was introduced by Law no. 190/2012. It punishes both the public official and the private briber, where the public official, by abusing his quality or powers, induces someone to unlawfully give or promise to him or to a third party money or anything of value (Article 319quater, ICC).

    Under the previous regime, only the public official was responsible for his conduct, in relation to the different offence of "extortion committed by a public official" (Article 317, ICC), while the private party was considered the victim of the crime. In the new system, the offence of extortion committed by a public official only applies to those cases where the private party is forced by the public official to give or promise a bribe. In such cases, the private party is still considered the victim of the crime, and the public official is exclusively criminally liable for the offence.

  • Trafficking of unlawful influences. This was introduced by Law no. 190/2012. It punishes anyone who, commits "proper bribery" and "bribery in judicial acts", by exploiting existing relations with a public official, to unduly make someone give or promise, to him or others, money or any other patrimonial advantage, either:

    • as price for his unlawful exploitation of existing relations with the public official;

    • as consideration for the carrying out of an act conflicting with the office's duties;

    • for the omission or delay of an office's act.

    Criminal responsibility equally applies to the private party who unduly gives or promises money or other patrimonial advantage (Article 346bis, ICC).

  • Instigation to bribery. This occurs (Article 322, ICC):

    • when the private party makes an undue offer or promise that is not accepted by the public official; or

    • when the public official solicits an undue promise or payment that is not carried out by the private party.

Private commercial bribery

Until 2002, bribery offences only applied to the bribery of public officials or persons in charge of a public service. In 2002, an offence relating to the corruption of private corporate officers was introduced by Article 2635 of the Italian Civil Code. It is punishable by imprisonment of up to three years, for both the briber and the corporate officer. This is on the condition that the corporation suffers damage as a result and that the bribe is given or offered to its directors, general managers, internal auditors, liquidators or external auditors.

Law No. 190/2012 has extended the reach of the offence to:

  • Bribery of managers in charge of the accounting books.

  • Bribery of ordinary employees, who are subject to the direction or supervision of the top managers. In this case, punishment is imprisonment of up to one year and six months.

A pre-condition for prosecuting the offence is a criminal complaint filed by the victim, unless the crime generates a distortion of competition in the acquisition of goods or services. The punishments are doubled in relation to corporations listed in Italy or in the EU. No relevant case law has been developed yet on this offence.

Defences

8. What defences, safe harbours or exemptions are available and who can qualify?

Payments amounting to bribery offences are prohibited whether they are carried out directly or indirectly, through intermediaries or third parties. Where a payment is made through an intermediary, the public prosecutors must prove that the payment to the intermediary was made with the knowledge and intent of subsequently bribing a public official.

Facilitation or grease payments are prohibited.

If a person who has made a bribe voluntarily reports his behaviour to the public prosecutor, this may qualify as a mitigating circumstance, but does not exclude his criminal responsibility.

 
9. Can associated persons (such as spouses) and agents be liable for these offences and in what circumstances?

Where an individual gives at least a minimum contribution to the commission of a criminal offence, supported by the required intent, he is liable for that offence with the other offenders, under the principle of participation in a crime (Article 110 and following, Italian Criminal Code (ICC)).

Enforcement

10. Which authorities have the powers of prosecution, investigation and enforcement in cases of bribery and corruption? What are these powers and what are the consequences of non-compliance?

The public prosecutor's powers of investigation, their jurisdiction and the consequences of non-compliance are detailed in Question 3.

There is no limitation to their powers arising out of data protection and privacy laws, and that protection granted by legal professional privilege is very limited under Italian law (see Question 3).

For more information on the public prosecutors and the Consob see box: The regulatory authorities.

Prosecution powers

See Question 3, Public prosecutors and Consob.

Powers of interview

See Question 3, Public prosecutors and Consob.

Powers of search/to compel disclosure

See Question 3, Public prosecutors and Consob.

Court orders or injunctions

Public prosecutors have the power to request a judge or court, even at a pre-trial stage (preventive seizure). See Question 3.

Protections available

See Question 3.

Penalties

11. What are the potential penalties for participating in bribery and corruption?

Civil/administrative proceedings or penalties

Non-criminal regulations specifically restrict the receipt of gifts and entertainment by Italian officials (see Question 5). These regulations relate to gifts and entertainment received by Italian government members and their relatives, Italian public administration employees, and more generally employees of state-owned or state-controlled corporations. The regulations only apply to the recipient of the gifts and entertainment and not to the party providing them. The sanctions for a violation can only amount to an internal disciplinary action.

Criminal proceedings or penalties

Corporate liability. Corporations are subject to fines (from EUR2,580 up to EUR1.549 million), disqualifications and confiscation.

Individual liability. The sanctions for bribery offences (domestic and foreign offences) vary depending on the nature of the offence:

  • Proper bribery: punishment is imprisonment from six years to ten years, which can be increased due to aggravating circumstances.

  • Bribery for the performance of the function: punishment is imprisonment from one year to six years, which can be increased due to aggravating circumstances.

  • Bribery in judicial acts: punishment is imprisonment from six years to twelve years imprisonment, which can be increased due to aggravating circumstances.

  • Unlawful inducement to give or promise anything of value: punishment is imprisonment from six years to ten years and six months for the public official, and up to three years for the private briber. They can be increased due to aggravating circumstances.

  • Trafficking of unlawful influences: punishment is imprisonment from one year to three years, and it can be increased due to aggravating circumstances.

  • Instigation to bribery: punishments provided for proper bribery and for bribery for the performance of function apply but are reduced by one-third.

If convicted, the profit or price of the bribery must be confiscated (or the equivalent to a value corresponding to the profit or price of the offence) (Article 322ter, ICC).

There is also a criminal offence related to the corruption of private corporate officers (Article 2635, Civil Code) (see Question 7, Private commercial bribery).

Criminal proceedings

Right to bail. There is no right to bail under Italian law. See Question 4.

Penalties. See above and Question 3.

Tax treatment

12. Are there any circumstances under which payments such as bribes, ransoms or other payments arising from blackmail or extortion are tax-deductible as a business expense?

There are no circumstances under which payments such as bribes and so on are tax deductible.

 

Insider dealing and market abuse

Regulatory provisions and authorities

13. What are the main regulatory provisions and legislation relevant to insider dealing and market abuse?

Regulatory authorities

The public prosecutors are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the criminal offences of market manipulation and insider dealing (see Question 1).

The National Commission for Companies and the Stock Exchange (Consob) is the regulator responsible for investigating administrative violations of market manipulation and insider dealing and for applying the related administrative sanctions (see Question 4).

For more information on the public prosecutors and the Consob, see box: The regulatory authorities.

Regulatory provisions

The relevant criminal and administrative provisions are contained in Articles 184, 185, 187bis and 187ter of the Finance Unified Text.

Offences

14. What are the specific insider dealing and market abuse offences?

Market manipulation

Criminal offence. It is an offence to spread false news or carry out sham transactions or other deceptions that are able to cause a noticeable alteration in the price of financial instruments (Article 185, Finance Unified Text). The offence is punishable with imprisonment from two to 12 years and a fine from EUR40,000 up to EUR10 million. The fine can also be increased by the judge in the most serious cases.

Administrative offence. An administrative penalty is imposed by the National Commission for Companies and the Stock Exchange (Consob) (in addition to a criminal sanction) for conduct which is on the same basis as the criminal offence, but is wider in scope, for example (Article 187ter, Finance Unified Text):

  • Negligence is sufficient for the mental element rather than intent.

  • Misleading as well as false news can form a violation.

  • A noticeable alteration of the price of financial instruments is not necessary.

The penalty for a violation is a fine from EUR100,000 up to EUR25 million.

Insider dealing

Criminal offence. It is an offence for anybody who, being in possession of non-public information by virtue of being a member of administrative, managing or supervisory bodies of the issuer corporation, or of being a shareholder of the issuer corporation, or of performing an employment activity, profession or function (public or private), to (Article 184, Finance Unified Text):

  • Purchase, sell or carry out other transactions, directly or indirectly, on behalf of himself or a third party, on financial instruments by using the mentioned information.

  • Communicate the mentioned information to others, out of the normal scope of his employment, profession, function or office.

  • Exhort or induce others, on the basis of the mentioned information, to purchase, sell or carry out other transactions.

The offence is punishable with imprisonment from two to 12 years and a fine from EUR40,000 up to EUR6 million.

Administrative offence. An administrative penalty is imposed on conduct which is on the same basis as the criminal offence, but is wider in scope, for example (Article 187bis, Finance Unified Text):

  • Negligence is sufficient for the mental element.

  • Violating conduct also applies to secondary insiders, who are excluded from the criminal offence (secondary insiders, or tippees, are persons who do not obtain the sensitive information directly, by reason of their office, function, profession or employment activity).

The penalty for a violation is a fine from EUR100,000 up to EUR15 million.

Corporate liability

Corporations can be subject to significant administrative fines for the administrative violations of market manipulation and insider dealing committed by their manager or employees in the interest or for the benefit of the corporation (Article 187-quinquies, Finance Unified Text). This penalty applies in addition to the specific sanctions applied to the corporation as a result of the criminal offences of market manipulation and insider dealing committed by their managers or employees under Legislative Decree no. 231/2001 (see Question 4).

Defences

15. What defences, safe harbours or exemptions are available and who can qualify?

Market manipulation

A typical defence to a charge of market manipulation is to maintain and prove that the news or transactions did not cause a noticeable alteration in the price of financial instruments, and that in any case the required mens rea (intention) was lacking.

Insider dealing

Typical defences to a charge of insider dealing (in addition to the mens rea argument) generally relate to the nature of the information (for example, that it was already public) or the nature of the offenders (for example, secondary insiders are excluded from the criminal offence (see Question 14)).

Enforcement

16. Which authorities have the powers of prosecution, investigation and enforcement in cases of insider dealing and market abuse? What are these powers and what are the consequences of non-compliance?

The public prosecutor's powers of investigation, their jurisdiction, available protections and the consequences of non-compliance are detailed in Questions 3 and 10.

The powers of the National Commission for Companies and the Stock Exchange (Consob), and all related issues mentioned above, are also detailed in Questions 3 and 10.

Authorities

Italian courts and regulators have in principle jurisdiction only over offences committed within Italian territory (that is, when at least some of the prohibited conduct takes place in Italy) (see Question 3). Extra-territorial jurisdiction only applies in very limited circumstances (for example, the presence of the suspect in Italy and a request of proceedings by the Italian Minister of Justice (Articles 9 and 10, ICC)).

Both Italian public prosecutors and the Consob ordinarily and efficiently interact with overseas authorities, on the basis of specific treaties, memoranda of understanding and relevant Italian legislation. For more information on the public prosecutors and the Consob see box: The regulatory authorities.

Prosecution powers

See Question 3, Public prosecutors and Consob.

Powers of interview

See Question 3, Public prosecutors and Consob.

Powers of search/to compel disclosure

See Question 3, Public prosecutors and Consob.

Court orders or injunctions

Public prosecutors have the power to request a judge or court, even at a pre-trial stage, preventive seizure. See Question 3.

Penalties

17. What are the potential penalties for participating in insider dealing and market abuse?

Civil/administrative proceedings or penalties

See Question 14.

Criminal proceedings or penalties

See Question 14.

Civil suits

See Question 4.

Right to bail. There is no right to bail under Italian law. See Question 4.

Penalties. See Question 14.

 

Money laundering and terrorist financing and financial/trade sanctions

Regulatory provisions and authorities

18. What are the main regulatory provisions relevant to money laundering, terrorist financing and/or breach of financial/trade sanctions?

Money laundering and terrorist financing

Criminal offences. Money laundering and terrorist financing criminal offences are detailed in the Italian Criminal Code (ICC) (Article 648bis and Article 270bis respectively). The public prosecutors are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the criminal offences of money laundering, terrorist financing and breach of financial/trade sanctions (see Question 19).

Administrative offences. The administrative anti-money laundering (AML) provisions are contained in the 2007 Decree, which entered into force on 29 December 2007. The 2007 Decree implemented Directive 2005/60/EC on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purpose of money laundering and terrorist financing (Third Anti-money Laundering Directive).

The AML regime is enforced by the Ministry for the Economy and Finance, which is responsible for applying administrative sanctions. A crucial function is performed by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), which operates autonomously at the Bank of Italy and is responsible for obtaining, analysing and exploiting information on suspicious transactions reported to it by the relevant subjects (Article 6, Legislative Decree no. 231/2007) (2007 Decree). The FIU can suspend transactions suspected of involving money laundering or terrorist financing for a maximum of five working days.

In addition, a significant AML enforcement role is performed by the Financial Police (in particular, the Special Foreign Exchange Unit), which operates in co-ordination with the FIU, and which carries out the investigation of suspicious transactions (including inspections, and so on).

For more information on the public prosecutors and the FIU, see box: The regulatory authorities.

Financial/trade sanctions

Criminal offences. The criminal offences relating to the breach of financial/trade sanctions are detailed in Legislative Decree no. 96/2003 (Article 16). The public prosecutors are responsible for investigating and prosecuting (see above, Money laundering and terrorist financing: Criminal offences).

Administrative offences. The main administrative offences relating to the breach of financial/trade sanctions are detailed in Legislative Decree no. 109/2007 (Article 13) and in the Royal Legislative Decree no. 1923/1926 (Article 11) (see above, Money laundering and terrorist financing: Administrative offences). The regime is enforced by the Ministry for the Economy and Finance, which is responsible for applying administrative sanctions.

Offences

19. What are the specific offences relating to money laundering, terrorist financing and breach of financial/trade sanctions?

Money laundering

It is an offence for anybody to, with knowledge and intent, substitute or transfer money, goods or other things of value deriving from an intentional crime or carry out, in relation to that benefit, any transactions in such a way as to obstruct the identification of their criminal provenance (Article 648bis, Italian Criminal Code (ICC)).

Until January 2015 a condition for applying the money laundering offence was that the offender had not participated in the predicate offence (if the offender did participate, he will only be responsible for that offence); this condition is not required anymore under the new regime, where also self-money laundering is punishable.

The punishment is imprisonment from four years up to 12 years and a fine from EUR1,032 to EUR15,493, as well as the confiscation of the relevant money/goods if convicted.

Additional punishments such as disqualification from holding public office, disqualification from practising a profession or art, temporary disqualification from managing corporations or enterprises may also apply (Article 28 and following, ICC).

The accused must know about the unlawful provenance of the money, goods or other things of value, and intend to substitute or transfer them, or to carry out transactions to obstruct the identification of their criminal provenance. Therefore, theoretically strict liability is not imposed and negligence is not sufficient for liability. However, in practice, prosecutors and courts tend to infer (and even presume) knowledge and intent from objective circumstances in a way that often extends the reach of the offence to negligence cases.

Terrorist financing

Terrorist financing is punished as part of broader criminal behaviour under Article 270bis of the ICC, which punishes anyone who promotes, sets up, organises, leads or finances associations intending to carry out acts of violence with the purpose of terrorism or subversion of the democratic order, with imprisonment from seven to 15 years.

Breach of financial/trade sanctions

Breach of financial/trade sanctions is punished by Legislative Decree no. 96/2003 (Article 16). Anyone who carries out export transactions of dual use goods (that is, goods that can have a military or civil use) without the required authorisation, or with an authorisation obtained using false declarations or documents, is punished by either:

  • Imprisonment from two years to six years.

  • A fine from EUR25,000 to EUR250,000.

Where an export transaction of dual use goods is carried out without complying with the duties imposed under the authorisation for that export, the punishment is either:

  • Imprisonment from two years to four years.

  • A fine from EUR15,000 to EUR150,000.

In the event of conviction or plea bargaining, confiscation of the relevant goods is always ordered.

As far as the administrative sanctions are concerned, anyone who exports goods whose export is prohibited is punished with (Article 11, Royal Legislative Decree no. 1923/1926):

  • An administrative fine from EUR103.29 to EUR2,582.28.

  • Confiscation of the relevant goods.

A breach of financial sanctions, where it does not amount to a criminal offence, is punished with an administrative fine not lower than one-half of the value of the relevant transaction and not higher than two times the same value (Article 13, Legislative Decree no. 109/2007).

Defences

20. What defences, safe harbours or exemptions are available and who can qualify?

The most common defences in relation to the offences of money laundering, terrorist financing and breach of financial/trade sanctions relate to the absence of a material element of the offence (such as the relevant money/goods do not have an unlawful provenance, or do not fall under the export prohibition), or of the mens rea (that is, lack of knowledge about the unlawful provenance of the relevant money or goods, lack of will to breach the export prohibition, and so on).

Enforcement

21. Which authorities have the powers of prosecution, investigation and enforcement in cases of money laundering? What are these powers and what are the consequences of non-compliance?

The public prosecutor's powers of investigation, their jurisdiction, available protections and the consequences of non-compliance are detailed in Questions 3 and 10.

The Ministry for the Economy and Finance and the Financial Intelligence Unit's (FIU's) powers of investigation are detailed in Question 18.

Authorities

Italian courts and regulators have in principle jurisdiction only over offences committed within Italian territory (that is, when at least some of the prohibited conduct takes place in Italy) (see Question 16). Extra-territorial jurisdiction only applies in very limited circumstances. Both Italian public prosecutors and the Consob ordinarily and efficiently interact with overseas authorities, on the basis of specific treaties, memoranda of understanding and relevant Italian legislation.

For more information on the public prosecutors see box:The regulatory authorities.

Prosecution powers

See Question 3, Public prosecutors.

Powers of interview

See Question 3, Public prosecutors.

Powers of search/to compel disclosure

See Question 3, Public prosecutors.

Court orders or injunctions

Public prosecutors have the power to request a judge or court, even at a pre-trial stage, preventive seizure. See Question 3.

Protections available

See Question 3.

Penalties

22. What are the penalties for participating in money laundering, terrorist financing offences and/or for breaches of financial/trade sanctions?

Money laundering

The punishment is imprisonment from four years up to 12 years and a fine from EUR1,032 to EUR15,493, as well as the confiscation of the relevant money/goods if convicted (see Question 19).

Terrorist financing

The punishment is imprisonment from seven years up to 15 years, as detailed in (see Question 19).

Right to bail. There is no right to bail under Italian law. See Question 4.

Penalties. See Question 14.

Financial/trade sanctions

The punishment is imprisonment from two years to six years, or a fine from EUR25,000 to EUR250,000, as well as the confiscation of the relevant goods if convicted (see Question 19).

Right to bail. There is no right to bail under Italian law. See Question 4.

Penalties. See Question 14.

Additional criminal offences

The most relevant additional criminal offences are:

  • Failure to carry out customer identification due diligence (Article 55, paragraph 1, 2007 Decree). Anyone who violates provisions concerning customer identification due diligence is punished with a criminal fine from EUR2,600 to EUR13,000 (unless the act constitutes a more serious crime). The mens rea required is intention.

  • Failure to carry out record keeping obligations (Article 55, paragraph 4, 2007 Decree). Anyone who fails to record the relevant information, or who does so late or incompletely is punished with a criminal fine from EUR2,600 to EUR13,000. The mens rea required is intention.

  • Violation of the ban on communication (Article 55, paragraph 8, 2007 Decree). The 2007 Decree provides that the persons subject to reporting obligations cannot inform the interested party or third parties that a report of a suspicious transaction has been made or that an investigation is being or may be conducted into money laundering or terrorist financing (Article 46). Anyone who violates this ban on communication is punished with imprisonment from six months to one year or with a fine from EUR5,000 to EUR50,000 (unless the act constitutes a more serious crime). The mens rea required is negligence.

Civil/administrative offences and sanctions

The main violations punished with administrative sanctions are:

  • Failure to report suspicious transactions (Article 57, paragraph 4, 2007 Decree). Unless the act constitutes a crime, failure to report suspicious transactions is punished with a fine from 1% to 40% of the amount of the non-reported transaction. In the most serious cases, the decree imposing the sanction must be published in at least two newspapers distributed nationwide.

  • Failure to create a single electronic archive (Article 57, paragraph 2, 2007 Decree). Failure to create a single electronic archive is punished with a fine from EUR50,000 to EUR500,000. In the most serious cases, the decree imposing the sanction must be published in at least two newspapers distributed nationwide.

  • Failure to comply with the suspension measure (Article 57, paragraph 1, 2007 Decree). The FIU has the power to suspend transactions suspected of involving money laundering or terrorist financing for a maximum period of five working days. Unless the act constitutes a crime, failure to comply with the suspension measure mentioned above is punished with a fine from EUR5,000 to EUR200,000 (see Question 18).

 

Financial record keeping

23. What are the general requirements for financial record keeping and disclosure?

The relevant provisions concerning financial record keeping and disclosure are contained in the Civil Code. The balance sheet of a limited liability company must be drawn up with transparency and must represent a true and fair view of the patrimonial and financial situation of the company and of the economic result of the financial period (Article 2423, Civil Code). Articles 2423bis to 2429 of the Civil Code provide criteria to be followed in drafting the balance sheet, and the tasks to be accomplished by the board of directors and internal auditors.

For listed companies, the law provides for more stringent internal and external company controls.

 
24. What are the penalties for failure to keep or disclose accurate financial records?

False accounting

For listed companies, it is an offence for directors, chief executives, internal auditors and liquidators who, with the intent to mislead the shareholders or the public and with the aim of obtaining an undue profit, state false material facts in balance sheets, reports or other corporate communications, or omit information whose communication is imposed by the law, on the economic, patrimonial or financial situation of the company, in a way able to mislead the addressees and cause an economic damage to the shareholders or creditors (Articles 2621 to 2622, Civil Code).

The offence is subject to imprisonment from one to four years. There is no offence committed if the falsities or omissions do not alter in a notable way the representation of the situation of the company and, in any case, if they do not exceed specific thresholds (5% of the turnover, and 1% of net equity value). The mental element required is intent.

For non-listed companies punishments are reduced, and a specific criminal complaint filed by the injured persons is a pre-condition for the criminal action.

Tax offences

The regulation on tax crimes is contained in Legislative Decree no. 74/2000. The most relevant tax criminal offences are:

  • Fraudulent tax return by using false invoices (for non-existing transactions). Punishment is imprisonment from one year and six months, up to six years (Article 2).

  • Fraudulent tax return by using other fraudulent means. Punishment is imprisonment from one year and six months, up to six years (Article 3).

  • False tax return. Punishment is imprisonment from one up to three years (Article 4).

  • Failure to file a tax return. Punishment is imprisonment from one up to three years (Article 5).

  • Issue of false invoices (for non-existing transactions). Punishment is imprisonment from one year and six months, up to six years (Article 8).

  • Concealment or destruction of account books. Punishment is imprisonment from six months up to five years (Article 10).

  • Fraudulent underpayment of tax. Punishment is imprisonment from six months up to four years, and can be increased to six years in the event of aggravating circumstances (Article 11).

In most of these offences, a specific amount of tax evasion (higher than a certain threshold) is a pre-condition of the offence.

The mental element required is always the intent to evade income tax or VAT (or to allow third persons to evade taxes).

The most serious tax violations can amount to both a criminal offence and an administrative violation. In those cases, the tax proceeding (and litigation) and the criminal proceeding proceed separately and in parallel, and in case of conviction the criminal punishments are applied to the individuals, and the administrative ones to the corporations. The administrative sanctions mainly consist of significant fines, which are applied by the Tax Authorities. (The Tax Authority differs from the National Commission for Companies and the Stock Exchange (Consob) and the Anti-trust Authority, and is not an independent body.)

 
25. Are the financial record keeping rules used to prosecute white-collar crimes?

In the 1990s the financial record keeping rules were largely used to prosecute white-collar crimes. As a reaction, in 2002 the relevant statutes (contained in Articles 2621 to 2622 of the Civil Code) were significantly amended by Legislative Decree no. 61/2002, by introducing a number of pre-conditions for the existence of the criminal offences to significantly reduce their sphere of application.

Currently, therefore, the rules (see Question 24) are rarely used to prosecute white-collar crimes.

 

Due diligence

26. What are the general due diligence requirements and procedures in relation to corruption, fraud or money laundering when contracting with external parties?

The most relevant due diligence requirements and procedures relate to corporations' responsibility stemming from criminal offences committed by their managers or employees in the interest or for the benefit of the corporation (see Questions 1 and 4). This responsibility is administrative under the law, but is assessed by a criminal judge in accordance with the rules of criminal procedure, in proceedings which are usually joined with the ones relating to the responsibility of the managers or employees.

Where an offence is committed by an employee, a corporation can avoid liability by proving to have implemented effective compliance programmes designed to prevent the commission of that type of offence (Article 7, Legislative Decree no. 231/2001). Where an offence is committed by senior managers, the implementation of effective compliance programmes does not suffice, and the corporations' responsibility is avoidable only by proving that the perpetrator acted in fraudulent breach of corporate compliance controls (Article 6, Legislative Decree no. 231/2001).

Furthermore, specific due diligence requirements and procedures are provided for by the anti-money laundering regulations (2007 Decree), which in essence impose on relevant categories of subjects (that is, financial intermediaries; also lawyers, accountants, and so on, under certain conditions) certain obligations, the most significant of which are the following:

  • "Customer due diligence" obligations (such as identifying the customer, the beneficial owner, monitoring the business relationship, and so on).

  • Record keeping obligations (retention of documents and recording of information, creation of an electronic archive, and so on).

  • Reporting obligations (to report "suspicious transactions" relating to money laundering and terrorist financing).

See Question 22.

 

Corporate liability

27. Under what circumstances can a corporate body itself be subject to criminal liability?

See Questions 1 and 4.

 

Cartels

28. Are cartels prohibited in your jurisdiction? How are cartel offences defined? Under what circumstances can a corporate body be subject to criminal liability for cartel offences?

Cartels and abuses of dominant positions do not amount to a criminal offence. There is an administrative enforcement which is carried out by the competent regulator: the Anti-trust Authority (Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato). The Anti-trust Authority is tasked with ensuring free competition within the Italian market, especially by counteracting cartels and abuses of dominant positions. It is provided with extensive powers of investigations (very similar to the ones of Consob mentioned above) and, where it assesses serious violations, it has the power to apply significant fines (up to 10% of the company’s previous year turnover).

See Cartel Leniency Q&A: Italy. ( www.practicallaw.com/0-517-4293)

 

Immunity and leniency

29. In what circumstances is it possible to obtain immunity/leniency for co-operation with the authorities?

Generally, criminal actions are compulsory and not discretionary and cannot be dropped by the public prosecutor (unless he assesses that no crime was ever committed, and then requests a dismissal from a competent judge). With respect to corporations, the decision of dismissal is directly issued by the public prosecutor (Article 58, Legislative Decree no. 231/2001).

Individuals

Under certain conditions, plea bargaining with prosecuting authorities is recognised by Italian law. It must be approved by the competent judge and the punishment agreed on cannot be more than five years' imprisonment, and it must be substantially considered as a conviction sentence (Article 444, Italian Code of Criminal Procedure (ICCP)). The adoption of plea bargaining entitles the offender to a reduction of the punishment by up to one-third.

Under certain conditions, a civil settlement with the person injured, aimed at compensating damage, can qualify as a mitigating circumstance to reduce a criminal sentence.

Italian law, with the exception of mafia or terrorism crimes, does not provide express benefits for providing information to the prosecuting authorities about other offenders. However, it can be stated that, on a case-by-case basis, a certain degree of co-operation can produce positive effects, especially if joined with the compensation of damage in favour of the injured party.

Corporations

There is no formal mechanism for corporations to disclose violations in exchange for lesser penalties. However, a certain degree of co-operation with the prosecuting authorities before trial (in terms of removal of the officers/body members allegedly responsible for the unlawful conduct, implementation of compliance programmes aimed at preventing the same type of offences, compensation of damage, and so on) can have a significant impact in reducing the pre-trial and final sanctions applied to the corporation.

A mechanism of plea bargaining similar to the one for individuals is available for corporations (Article 63, Legislative Decree no. 231/2001), in relation to less serious violations and to criminal offences for which the corporate managers or employees would be entitled to plea bargaining.

 

Cross-border co-operation

30. What international agreements and legal instruments are available for local authorities?

Obtaining evidence

Mutual legal assistance with foreign countries is governed by the international treaties signed and ratified by Italy. They include the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters 1959, the European Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime 1990, and several bilateral treaties. In the absence of a treaty, mutual legal assistance is governed by specific provisions of the Italian Code of Criminal Procedure (ICCP) (Article 727 and following, ICCP).

A request to a foreign authority to gather evidence abroad (for example, interrogation of suspects and witnesses, search and seizure, and so on) can be made by the public prosecutor, usually through the Minister of Justice.

Seizing assets

Generally, the international treaties and legal mechanisms to request seizure in an overseas jurisdiction of assets obtained from criminal activity are the same as for obtaining evidence (see above, Obtaining evidence). However, under the Italian law that implemented the European Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime 1990, a specific request of the Italian Minister of Justice is always necessary.

Sharing information

In practice, in relation to an actual or suspected business crime issue, Italian public prosecutors are likely to notify authorities in other jurisdictions where the company carries on business, with the purpose of obtaining evidence (witnesses' depositions, documentation, and so on) enabling them to conduct a successful prosecution in Italy.

 
31. In what circumstance will domestic criminal courts assert extra-territorial jurisdiction?

Extra-territorial jurisdiction

General rules. Italian criminal law provides that Italian courts have jurisdiction on all offences committed within Italian territory. This refers to when part of the prohibited conduct (for example, the decision to pay a bribe abroad) takes place in Italy.

Italy has not established that it has a general extra-territorial jurisdiction, although there are specific cases in which it will exercise extra-territorial jurisdiction (see below).

Italian public officials. Italian courts have jurisdiction to prosecute a bribery offence involving Italian public officials even if the offence is committed abroad (Article 7 no. 4, Italian Criminal Code (ICC)). Therefore the Italian courts have extra-territorial jurisdiction over Italian nationals and non-nationals, in the few cases where they are public officials of the Italian state.

Corporations whose main seat is in Italy. Italian law also has limited extra-territorial jurisdiction over corporations whose main seat is in Italy, for an offence committed abroad, where the offence is not prosecuted by the state where it was committed, and all other requirements for establishing Italian extra-territorial jurisdiction over the corporations' officers/potential offenders are fulfilled. This includes the presence of the suspect in Italy and the request of proceedings by the Minister of Justice.

Non-nationals who commit an offence abroad

Italian extra-territorial jurisdiction applies to a limited extent for offences that are committed abroad by offenders that are not Italian public officials (for example, private bribers). Stringent requirements will also apply, for example, the suspect must be present in Italy, and the Italian Minister of Justice must request proceedings (Articles 9 to 10, ICC).

Jurisdiction over non-nationals for offences committed within Italy

Italian courts have jurisdiction over all offences committed within Italian territory. This refers to when part of the prohibited conduct takes place in Italy, and is regardless of the offender's nationality (or the corporate offender's main seat) (Article 6, ICC).

 
32. Does your jurisdiction have any statutes aimed at blocking the assertion of foreign jurisdictions within your territory? Are there statutes aimed at blocking the assertion of foreign jurisdictions within their territory?

There are no specific provisions of law aimed at blocking the assertion of foreign jurisdictions within Italy.

 

Whistleblowing

33. Are whistleblowers given statutory protection?

Under the law providing for the responsibility of corporations, a corporation's compliance programmes should impose an obligation on employees to whistleblow to the corporation's competent body (Article 6, Legislative Decree no. 231/2001). There is no explicit statutory protection for whistleblowers, although in practice the majority of compliance programmes provide for a certain degree of protection for, among other things, the disclosure of identities.

Specific and explicit protection for whistleblowers is provided under the anti-money laundering provisions. In particular, the 2007 Decree provides that persons with reporting obligations, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), the financial police, and so on, must adopt adequate measures to ensure the maximum protection of the identity of the individuals who make reports (Article 45, 2007 Decree).

 

Reform, trends and developments

34. Are there any impending developments or proposals for reform?

The most relevant reform, concerning corruption offences, was introduced by Law no. 190/2012 and was aimed at improving the efficiency and deterrence of the anti-bribery system. The new provisions generally provide for additional requirements of transparency and publicity in relation to tender procedures, and for a relevant increase of punishments for individuals convicted of bribery offences affecting imprisonment, disqualifications and confiscation. In addition, they also extend the reach of commercial bribery to corporations' employees, and introduce the criminal offence of trafficking of influences.

By Law Decree no. 90 of June 24, 2014, significant new powers have been attributed to the Anti-Corruption National Authority (ANAC), providing for the effective coordination and exchange of information of that body with the various public prosecutors investigating cases of corruption, and for the effective powers of supervision of ANAC about the relevant public tenders.

 

Market practice

35. What are the main steps foreign and local companies are taking to manage their exposure to corruption/corporate crime?

The main steps taken by companies relate to the implementation and constant updating of detailed compliance programmes that are effectively able to prevent the commission of the various criminal offences indicated under Question 26 that could give rise to corporate liability.

 

The regulatory authorities

National Commission for the Companies and the Stock Exchange (Consob)

W www.consob.it

Status. Consob is a non-governmental organisation.

Principal responsibilities. Consob's principal responsibilities are to ensure the transparency and the correct functioning of the financial market. Consob has extensive powers of investigations such as:

  • To compel companies' officers to attend an interview and to provide documentation.

  • To conduct inspections at companies' premises.

  • To seize assets, under specific conditions.

Where Consob assesses relevant violations it applies administrative sanctions, mainly consisting of significant fines.

Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU)

W www.bancaditalia.it/footer/contatti

Status. The FIU is a non-governmental organisation.

Principal responsibilities. FIU's principal responsibilities are to enforce, in co-operation with the Ministry for the Economy and Finance, the Italian AML regime. In particular, by obtaining, analysing and exploiting information on suspicious transactions reported to it by the relevant subjects. The FIU can also suspend, for a maximum period of five working days, transactions suspected of involving money laundering or terrorist financing.



Contributor profiles

Roberto Pisano

Studio Legale Pisano

T +39 02 7600 2207
F +39 02 7601 6423
E robertopisano@pisanolaw.com
W www.pisanolaw.com

Professional qualifications. Italy, Lawyer.

Areas of practice. White-collar crime; transnational crime; extradition and mutual legal assistance.

Recent transactions

  • Representing a well-known US movie producer, in three cases of international tax fraud involving the former Italian prime minister.

  • Representing well-known agents and intermediaries in various cases of international corruption involving major oil companies.

  • Representing prominent individuals in various cases of extradition, including the recent FIFA investigation by the US authorities.

  • Representing a prominent external counsel of a US bank, in a case alleging a fraudulent bankruptcy of managers and contractual parties of ParmalatSpA, including foreign banks.

  • Representing a well-known US museum, in a case involving a claim for restitution of antiquities by the Italian Ministry of Culture.

  • Representing well-known entities and their top officials, in various cases of money laundering, including freezing of assets, search and seizure and relating appeals in foreign jurisdictions.

  • Advisor to prominent foreign governments on matters of international criminal law and extradition.

  • Member of the defence team in a case alleging multiple homicide of workers of a multinational corporation manufacturing hazardous products.


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