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Vatican monsignor questioned in $26 million fraud probe

July 1, 2013 at 4:44 PM

ROME, July 1 (UPI) -- Msgr. Nunzio Scarano, implicated in a Vatican fraud and corruption plot, told prosecutors he was only attempting to do a favor for friends.

Scarano, questioned in the 20-million euro ($26,128,011) corruption plot involving APSA, the Vatican's asset managers, said he only sought to "do a favor" to Paulo, Cesare and Maurizio D'Amico, three brothers who allegedly attempted to fly the money from Switzerland to Italy to evade taxes.

Charges have been place against Scarano, Italian intelligence agent Giovanni Maria Zito and Rome broker Giovanni Carenzio, the Italian news agency ANSA reported Monday.

Police said the D'Amico brothers, members of a Salerno, Italy, shipping family, were alleged beneficiaries of "a complex and expensive operation to evade customs controls and bring back into Italy money believed to be the fruit of tax evasion."

Scarano was suspended from Vatican duties a month ago after being named in a separate money-receiving probe, ANSA said.

The Vatican said it would cooperate fully with the probe.

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