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Exclusive: BT execs knew of accounting fraud in Italy unit - prosecutors

Reuters  |  MILAN 

By Emilio Parodi

MILAN (Reuters) - A preliminary criminal investigation into an accounting scandal at the unit of (BT) has alleged that three top executives of the group were aware of bookkeeping fraud at the unit, according to a document prepared by prosecutors.

The document, which wraps up the preliminary investigation, alleges that a network of people in BT Italy exaggerated revenues, faked contract renewals and invoices and invented bogus supplier transactions in order to meet bonus targets and disguise the unit's true financial performance.

The closing of the preliminary probe is the final step before prosecutors press charges against the suspects. Under law those under investigation now have three weeks to show why they should not be charged.

In the document, handed this week to parties involved in the investigation and seen by Reuters, prosecutors for the first time have named group executives as suspects in the case, though the prosecutors say all three have left BT since the scandal surfaced.

The document also lists BT Italy as a subject of the investigation, no longer as a damaged

BT declined to give an immediate comment.

In the document, prosecutors name and Richard Cameron, respectively former and former of BT Global Services, and Corrado Sciolla, formerly BT's of continental Europe, among an expanded list of 23 suspects.

The three are accused of setting unrealistically high business targets and of complicity in at BT Italy, which formed part of the Global Services division, according to the document.

A acting for the three could not be immediately reached for comment.

(Writing by Silvia Aloisi; Editing by Mark Bendeich)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, February 13 2019. 16:25 IST