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Police seize assets in investigation of Berlusconi ally Angelucci

June 27, 2013 at 2:57 PM

ROME, June 27 (UPI) -- Police investigating a member of former Premier Silvio Berlusconi's political party, Antonio Angelucci, said Thursday they seized Angelucci's assets.

Authorities in Rome seized 20 million Euros ($26,064,000), the Italian news agency ANSA reported.

Prosecutors are looking into whether two publishing companies of Angelucci's fraudulently received grants in 2006 and 2007. The companies claimed to belong to different publishers, and received two grants, ANSA said.

Investigators say Angelucci, a member of parliament who belongs to Berlusconi's People of Freedom Party, controlled both companies through a network of foreign holdings and individuals.

Former Sen. Sergio De Gregorio, accused of taking bribes in 2008 to switch political parties and force the Italian government to fall, agreed to a plea bargain in Naples Thursday.

De Gregorio defected from Italy's center-left party and eventually joined Berlusconi's party, allegedly being paid three million Euros ($3,910,000) to do so. The government fell in 2008, forcing new a new election which Berlusconi won, ANSA said.

Berlusconi was convicted in a separate case this week of abuse of office and having sex with an underage prostitute.

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