MILAN, July 20 Eleven former Monte Paschi
executives including the troubled bank's former
chairman and director general have been investigated for tax
fraud and may face trial, a judicial source said on Saturday.
Former Chairman Giuseppe Mussari and ex-director general
Antonio Vigni were this week notified by a Siena court that an
investigation into tax fraud had been concluded and that they
could be charged and brought to trial, the source said.
The source added that prosecutor Antonino Nastasi would ask
for the eleven to stand trial within a few weeks. A judge will
decide whether a trial will go ahead.
Italian tax police believe the former executives ordered
investments in foreign securities with the aim of reducing the
bank's tax bill, taking advantage of different fiscal rules
between Italy and foreign countries between 2005 and 2009.
The amount of unpaid taxes is estimated at around 180
million euros ($237 million), the source said.
Lawyers for Mussari and Vigni were not available for a
comment on the issue. Prosecutors are not permitted to comment
on cases on which they are working.
Monte dei Paschi, Italy's third-biggest lender, is at the
centre of a high-profile investigation into risky derivative
trades and has been the only bank in the country to need state
aid to shore up its strained capital base.
($1 = 0.7611 euros)
(Reporting by Silvia Ognibene; Writing by Francesca Landini;
Editing by Paola Arosio and Mark Potter)