Italian Authorities Seize 245 Million Euros from Unicredit


Italian authorities seized 245 million Euros ($338.5 million) fromUnicredit, Italy's largest bank, on suspicion of tax evasion in 2007 and 2008, judicial and Unicredit sources said on Wednesday.

According to the sources, executives from Unicredit, including former head Alessandro Profumo, and British bank Barclays are under investigation in an operation dubbed "Brontos".

A Unicredit spokesman said the bank was "very surprised" by the funds seizure because it was "certain to have acted correctly."

According to the Milan court, Unicredit had used a complex mechanism to enable it to pay less tax in Italy by transforming interests into dividends, which are largely tax deductible in Italy.