Atlantis World and BPlus Giocolegale Ltd. owner Mr. Francesco Corallo
TSXM – ITALY / GREAT BAY – Atlantis World and BPlus Giocolegale Ltd. owner is currently detained in Rome for questioning about his role in the Banco Popolare di Milano scandal. Corallo voluntarily made himself available to the Italian authorities.
“Mr. Francesco Corallo presented himself to Italian authorities last Sunday in order to be available to answer questions from the Milan prosecutor Mr. Pellicano about his alleged involvement in wrongdoings as brought against him from the Banco Popolare di Milano investigation,” Corallo’s attorney said in a statement the Chief Financial officer at the Atlantis World Group, Rudolf Baetsen, forwarded to this newspaper after questions about the arrest.
The attorney added he expects Corallo’s detention to be brief, “and in any event limited to the time the authorities need to question him.”
The accusations against Corallo date back to May 2012 when easy loans provided by the Banco Popolare di Milano (BPM) at the time when Massimo Ponzellini was its chairman attracted the attention of prosecutors. B Plus obtained a €105 million ($142 million) loan from BPM, but Corallo has always maintained that there is nothing fishy about the contract and that the loan is in good standing.
In June of last year the Italian tax police issued an arrest warrant for Corallo and in August he was placed as a wanted fugitive on the Interpol website. Corallo said in an interview with the British gaming industry magazine G3 in September that the allegations brought against him in Italy are inspired by competitors in the Italian gaming market who are after B Plus’ lucrative licenses for video lottery terminals.
After his name appeared on the Interpol wanted list, Corallo went underground for a while. The Antilliaans Dagblad reported yesterday that he went in hiding in the Dominican Republic, but there have also been reports that he stayed on the island of Anagada.
“Mr. Corallo continues to vehemently deny the accusations that were leveled against him by Mr. Pellicano,” the statement from the attorney read. “In the meantime, the most important part of these accusations has already been dismissed by the Italian courts.”
The only remaining accusation, according to Corallo’s attorney, pertains to conspiracy. “In every state of law this requires an element of criminal activity to exist. Mr. Corallo denies being involved in any criminal activity. Both Mr. Corallo and his legal counsel are confident that the remaining accusation cannot stand the test of law, thereby leading to Mr. Corallo being completely cleared of any accusation of wrongdoing.”
The statement furthermore points out that Corallo “never has been convicted in any court anywhere in the world. In fact, where investigations against him were conducted, he has always been cleared and charges against him were found baseless.”