Bulgari is “confident” it will be successful in its effort to disprove allegations of fraudulent earnings in Italy. The Italian design house, which has ben under fire for tax evasion, has released a statement with come accusations of its own, namely, that Italian authorities are waging a campaign in the media based on unfounded claims. The comments come after Italy’s tax police, the Guardia di Finanza, said it had confiscated real estate, including two sites on Rome’s Via dei Condotti; life insurance policies, and corporate investments traceable to Bulgari executives for a total value of 46 million euros, or $60 million at current exchange. Paolo and Nicola Bulgari, chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of Bulgari SpA; former chief executive officer Francesco Trapani, and Maurizio Valentini, current legal representative of the Italian parent company, are among the executives named by the tax police.
The investigations are focused on alleged fraudulent earnings declarations and evasion of tax payments of around 3 billion euros, or $4 billion, starting from 2006, through a system of allegedly fictitious companies in the Netherlands and Ireland, set up in order to avoid paying taxes in Italy. The tax police said it has unearthed nine pages of documents in which Bulgari executives named an “escape strategy” to find alternatives to Italy’s high tax rate and, in particular, to legislation introduced in 2006, “referred to taxes to be paid on dividends coming from countries with a privileged fiscality.”