Tax Fraud Rap Irrelevant To Bank Ownership, Berlusconi Says

By Matt Thompson (September 17, 2021, 11:20 AM EDT) -- A conviction for tax fraud shouldn't prevent former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi from holding a stake in a bank, his lawyers told the European Union's second-highest court.

In a hearing held Thursday in the EU General Court, Berlusconi's legal team said a change in the structure of the financial services company Banco Mediolanum shouldn't trigger a European Central Bank assessment of the owner's reputation because no change in control had taken place.

Berlusconi has held a 30% stake in Mediolanum since the 1990s, alongside his extensive Italian media company Mediaset. However, Mediolanum was taken over by its own banking unit...

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