Report: Italy's ANICA under investigation


ROME -- Italy's most important film producers' association is under investigation for corruption, according to Italy's largest news weekly, L'Espresso.

L'Espresso reported in Friday's edition that cinema, audiovisual, and multimedia association ANICA is under investigation by Italy's financial police for not documenting payments, paying for bogus services and cronyism. Some of the misappropriated funds allegedly come from state coffers.

Neither the financial police nor ANICA were available for comment because of Good Friday, a national holiday in Italy.

According to L'Espresso, the financial police -- called the Guardia di Finanza -- became aware of ANICA's suspect activities in April 2007, when the first of several tips from unnamed sources began to arrive to the office of state prosecutor Vittoria Bonfanti. The magazine quoted the Guardia di Finanza as saying the activities date back to 2005 and perhaps farther.

The article did not go into specifics about the charges against the organization, citing the ongoing nature of the Guardia di Finanza's investigation. But the dramatic two-page spread did say that the 63-year-old organization might have received funds to favor specific projects in terms of promotion.