FastWeb, Sparkle trial set for November

The trial of telecoms executives accused of a €2 billion money laundering scam in Italy has been set for November 2, after Italian authorities bowed to pressure from prosecutors.
 
Lawyers overseeing the trial of staff from FastWeb and Sparkle have skipped the usual preliminary hearings in favor of a full trial, because defendants have already been held in custody or under house-arrest for almost six months, FT.com reports.
 
Seven executives from the ISPs are included in the list of defendants, the news site said, including FastWeb founder Silvio Scaglia and CEO Stefano Parisi.
 
They are accused of orchestrating a tax fraud and money laundering scam involving the sale of phantom broadband services to companies in the US, UK and Finland.
 
Lawyers for Scaglia welcomed the move telling Business Week. “The sooner the case goes to trial the better.”
 
Parisi was moved to a board-level post at parent firm Swisscom in April, as part of a deal the Swiss incumbent struck to prevent FastWeb being placed under special administration.
 
The Swiss incumbent blamed a €70 million provision it made to cover the case’s legal costs for a 14.4% fall in net income in 1H10.
 
Sparkle parent Telecom Italia was twice forced to delay issuing its 1Q10 results because of the investigation, and in April set aside €727 million to cover back-dated taxes relating to its subsidiary.

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