The boss of a museum in Italy dedicated to the Mafia organisation ‘Ndrangheta has been given a nine-month suspended sentence for aggravated fraud.
The sentence was handed down by a court in Calabria, after a complex trial lasting nearly five years, to Claudio La Camera, who is the former president of the ‘Ndrangheta Museum, over EUR 434,000 (GBP 371,000) in funds provided by the region, some of which was for the museum to organise an ‘International Conference on the confiscation of assets seized from transnational organised crime’.
But according to the Calabria public prosecutor’s office, the project was a scam that involved false invoices. Investigations carried out by the Italian finance police, the Guardia di Finanza, uncovered that EUR 434,000 in funds had been provided by the region and the Reggio province to the museum.
The prosecution argued that the anti-Mafia in Calabria had become a business, notably thanks to the relationships between public officials at the time.
The prosecution also successfully argued that the hundreds of thousands of euros in public funds that had been given to the Mafia museum had been used for personal reasons rather than for institutional purposes.
It is currently unclear if the verdict can be appealed and if the defendant intends to do so.
The ‘Ndrangheta is widely considered to be the most powerful organised crime syndicate in the world, having expanded from Italy, with branches all over the planet and business interests that range from extortion and racketeering to prostitution and loansharking, as well as money-laundering and arms trafficking.