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EU prosecutor seizes €170,000 from Italian MEP and assistants over fraud suspicion

Italian MEP Stefania Zambelli  at the European Parliament on November 11, 2022.
Italian MEP Stefania Zambelli at the European Parliament on November 11, 2022. Copyright EP/Fred MARVAUX
Copyright EP/Fred MARVAUX
By Euronews
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EU prosecutor seizes €170,000 from Italian MEP and assistants over fraud suspicion

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The European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO) announced on Monday that it has seized over €170,000 from an Italian MEP and four of her parliamentary assistants as part of a fraud investigation.

The execution of the seizure order against MEP Stefania Zambelli, from the populist right-wing La Lega party, and her four Italian assistants was completed last Thursday, the EPPO said in a statement.

It followed a preliminary investigation led by the EPPO and the Brescia branch of the Italian Financial Police over a suspicion of fraud detrimental to the EU budget.

Investigators believe that the four assistants did not carry out the activities related to the function for which they were hired, or only carried them out partially, falsely documenting their activities to the European Parliament.

They are also accused of having misrepresented their qualifications, having declared educational and professional skills that they did not have.

Zambelli, who was elected to the European parliament in 2019, is "closely related to at least one of the people hired" and is believed to have "also benefited from the sums paid by the European Parliament for the work activities that the staff should have performed," the EPPO said. 

Euronews has reached out to Zambelli's office for comment.

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