Asset Recovery Watch

ARW-141
Munari and Rovelli Settlements / Vittorio Metta (Judge) / IMI Bank Case
Italy
Court of Appeals Judge (Metta, inclusive 1990)
United States
Undertaking Recovery Effort, Location of Recovery Effort, Asset Location / Alleged Asset Location
2007
2007
Art.15, Art.17, Art.19, Art.23
Yes
Non-Conviction Based Confiscation
MLAT
Cooperation by the U.S. and Italian authorities and sharing of information which enabled the U.S. to link successfully the assets to the defendants although the underlying criminal offenses had taken place over a decade prior to the filing of the complaint for civil asset forfeiture. (Source: Researcher interview, U.S. Immigration and Customs and Enforcement, December 2010.)
Completed
Assets Returned to Victim or Requesting Jurisdiction
$122,000,000
No
N/A

In November 2007, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida issued a Final Judgment of Forfeiture against a number of bank and securities accounts, as proceeds, property traceable to proceeds and property involved in foreign public corruption offenses, fraud against a foreign bank, U.S. money laundering offenses, and violations of 18 U.S.C. section 2314 (transportation of stolen goods, moneys, etc.) The judgment followed settlement agreements by the U.S. and (1) Pier Francesco Munari and Concejo de Capital Hanne, CCH, S.A. and (2) Oscar Rovelli, Angela Rovelli and Primarosa Battistella in which the individuals agreed to forfeit their interests in the properties to the United States in order that the United States could return the properties to Italy for the resolution of pending Italian legal proceedings against them. According to the U.S. Government complaint, the money laundering scheme involved shell entities or their financial accounts being "set-up in numerous foreign countries, including, but not limited to, the United States, British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Jersey, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Singapore, the Cook Islands, and Costa Rica. Eventually, portions of the fraudulently obtained IMI monies held by these MUNARI controlled entities found their way into financial accounts located in the United States." The U.S. returned $122 million to Italy to an escrow account established by an Italian court which had ordered restitution for the victim bank. (Sources: U.S. v. Proceeds of Crime Transferred to Certain Domestic Financial Accounts, Case No. 07-21791-civ-UU (S.D. Fla.), Verified Complaint for Forfeiture In Rem filed on July 17, 2007 and Final Judgment of Forfeiture filed November 21, 2007); U.S. Department of Justice Press Release, "Money Laundering Forfeiture Complaint Filed against $110 million in Proceeds from Italian Public Corruption Offenses," July 16, 2007; Researcher phone interview with investigator, U.S. Immigration and Customs and Enforcement, December 2010.)

According to the U.S. civil forfeiture complaint, in May 2006, the Italian Supreme Court affirmed Mr. Metta's conviction for "bribery in judicial acts." (Source: U.S. v. Proceeds of Crime Transferred to Certain Domestic Financial Accounts, Case No. 07-21791-civ-UU (S.D. Fla.), Verified Complaint for Forfeiture in Rem (filed July 17, 2007).

Supreme Court; Court of Appeal (Rome); Italian Tribunal (Rome)
Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of Investigations in Miami; Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs and the Justice Department’s Attaché in Rome; Immigration and Customs Enforcement Attaché in Rome.
Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section; U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Southern District of Florida, Asset Forfeiture Division; U.S. Attorney's Offices for Southern District of California, District of New Jersey and Southern District of New York (ex-parte restraint orders)
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida