ITALY: Fraudissimo

A gusher of an oil scandal

Through all the financial and political scandals in Italy's recent history, the national financial police, the paramilitary Guardia di Finanza, has always been regarded as a singular bastion of rectitude. Thus when retired General Raffaele Giudice, the Guardia's esteemed commander from 1974 to 1978, was recently jailed as a suspected ringleader in a $2.2 billion oil-tax fraud, it was rather like discovering that Michelangelo painted by numbers. Last week, as the scandal spread, four other high-ranking Guardia officers were put under investigation, and Giudice's former chief...

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