Italian fugitive from justice and tax fraudster arrested in Ukraine after three years on the run.
Black Sea Port police in Ukraine arrested Giuseppe Donaldo Nicosia in 2017. Nicosia is an Italian fugitive who was on the run for three years. He was on the run for stealing money and tax fraud. His crimes came to light during the Panama Papers scandal of 2016. This scandal revealed how many wealthy people commit tax fraud. Over 11 million leaked documents from the Panama Papers showed that offshore bank accounts and shell companies were used by the wealthy. This was so that they could easily hide their money and avoid paying taxes. The leaked documents showed that Nicosia played a role in this scandal.
Although the Panama Papers exposed the Italian criminal for tax fraud, he was on the run for earlier crimes. He was behind a $48 million scam concerning tax credits on advertising. Law enforcements say Nicosia “fled Europe shortly before an Italian judge issued a warrant for his arrest in June 2014, traveling to South Africa, Brazil and Panama before finally landing in war-torn Ukraine.”
Before the arrest warrant, Nicosia purchased two luxury condos in Manhattan. These condos cost $3.2 million. The Miami Herald newspaper says the condos “were owned through shell companies based in Delaware and the British Virgin Islands.”
He used the Mossack Fonseca law firm to make this deal. This firm was the at the center of the Panama Papers scandal and closed all branches in 2018. Its founders were arrested for money laundering. Because of this connection, prosecutors suspected that Nicosia used tax fraud money to buy the Manhattan condos. After his arrest, the Ukraine sent Nicosia back to Italy. This process, called extradition, took three months. Now it’s up to Italy bring this fraudster to justice.
ICIJ – The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.