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Friday, November 4, 2022
Alleged Sicilian Cosa Nostra Members Among 91 Jailed In Italy Over EU Subsidies Fraud
The British newspaper the Guardian offers a piece on Sicilian Cosa Nostra members receiving prison sentences for subsidies fraud.
Judges in Italy have handed down prison sentences to 91 people, including alleged mafia members, after a large-scale EU agricultural subsidies fraud.
According to magistrates in the Sicilian city of Messina, mobsters fraudulently received more than €5m (£4.3m) in subsidies between 2010 and 2017, including funds for thousands of hectares of “ghost” farmland in the east of the island that was either nonexistent, stolen from farmers or owned by the Italian state or regional government.
The sentences ranged from two years to 30. Among the charges that resulted in convictions were extortion, fraud against the EU and mafia association.
Prosecutors said the Batanesi mafia clan – one of the oldest crime families on the island, operating in the Nebrodi regional park, a hilly region popular for grazing – was believed to be at the centre of the fraud, which allegedly involved more than 150 companies.
Annual EU agricultural subsidies of up to €1,000 a hectare provide an incentive to organised crime. A magistrate wrote in the investigation file that it was often the case that one phone call from an organised crime boss was enough to prompt a farmer to give up his land out of fear of retaliation.
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Paul Davis is a writer who covers crime. He has written extensively about organized crime, cybercrime, street crime, white collar crime, crime fiction, crime prevention, espionage and terrorism. His 'On Crime' column appears in the Washington Times and his 'Crime Beat' column appears here. He is also a regular contributor to Counterterrorism magazine and writes their online 'Threatcon' column. Paul Davis' crime fiction appears in American Crime Magazine. His work has also appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News, Philadelphia Weekly and other publications. As a writer, he has attended police academy training, gone out on patrol with police officers, accompanied detectives as they worked cases, accompanied narcotics officers on drug raids, observed criminal court proceedings, visited jails and prisons, and covered street riots, mob wars and murder investigations. He has interviewed police commissioners and chiefs, FBI, DEA, HSI and other federal special agents, prosecutors, public officials, WWII UDT frogmen, Navy SEALs, Army Delta operators, Israeli commandos, military intelligence officers, Scotland Yard detectives, CIA officers, former KGB officers, film and TV actors, writers and producers, journalists, novelists and true crime authors, gamblers, outlaw bikers, and Cosa Nostra organized crime bosses. Paul Davis has been a student of crime since he was a 12-year-old aspiring writer growing up in South Philadelphia. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy when he was 17 in 1970. He served aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Kitty Hawk during the Vietnam War and he later served two years aboard the Navy harbor tugboat U.S.S. Saugus at the U.S. floating nuclear submarine base at Holy Loch, Scotland. He went on to do security work as a Defense Department civilian while working part-time as a freelance writer. From 1991 to 2005 he was a producer and on-air host of "Inside Government," a public affairs interview radio program that aired Sundays on WPEN AM and WMGK FM in the Philadelphia area. You can read Paul Davis' crime columns, crime fiction, book reviews and news and feature articles on this website. You can read his full bio by clicking on the above photo. And you can contact Paul Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org