Vatican Monsignor Arrested for Money LaunderingBy: Jasmine Allen - January 21, 2014
A former senior Vatican accountant who is already on house arrest is facing yet another charge for money laundering.
Monsignor Nunzio Scarano is currently facing separate charges from last year for smuggling 20m euros into Italy.
However, on Tuesday, he, along with two other suspects, were placed under arrest for the latest crime.
According to investigators, 52 people are considered to be in connection to the money laundering scandal.
Scarano, who was a 20-year veteran, was arrested after police officials discovered 6.5 million euros were being shipped to him from offshore companies in Switzerland.
By ways of false donations, he had people exchange a check or wire transfer worth 10,000 euros for a payout of the same amount, which he then recycled from offshore companies right into his account.
According to BBC News:
“Prosecutors allege that Monsignor Scarano got dozens of people to make contributions to a home for the terminally ill in Salerno, and used the money to pay off a mortgage on one of his properties.”
Within the past decade Scarano has deposited and withdrawn nearly 7 million euros via his Vatican bank account.
Investigators have determined that the shipping family company, D’Amicos, was assisting in the deliveries being that their association with the smuggling case is all too familiar. They have denied all claims of involvement in both of Scarano’s money scandals.
Just last year, Pope Francis responded to a series of scandals by establishing a commission that would review and monitor the bank accounts.
Although it is contrary to traditional practices for Italian authorities to become involved in crimes committed by Vatican officials, Pope Francis made an exception this time to adhere to international money laundering norms. This eventually led to the arrests of Monsignor Scarano and his accomplices.
Going forward, Pope Francis plans to avoid future scandals by reforming the banks legal structure and appointing an American financial service company to thoroughly review the church’s 19,000 bank accounts.
Here is a report on the bank fraud that occurred last summer: