Almost 65 million seized from GS (Carrefour Group)

A “potential tax damage” of almost 110 million which led to the emergency preventive seizure of 64.7 million for GS, a supermarket company 99.8% controlled by Carrefour Italia. This is the measure ordered by prosecutor Paolo Storari of the Milan Prosecutor’s Office, owner of numerous files of this kind, who ordered the seizure carried out by the Economic and Financial Police Unit of the Gdf. Another case of “manpower tanks”, used by important logistics and large-scale retail companies, with staff formally hired, with the so-called “screen” of “filter” companies, by consortia and cooperatives. A “scheme” created with false invoices and VAT evasion. According to the reconstruction, large companies guarantee themselves “highly competitive rates by contracting labor” irregularly for their services: workers are supplied, in fact, by a network of cooperatives and other companies, which are born and die in a short time. Between 2018 and 2022, in particular, GS “made extensive use of the outsourcing of logistics, goods handling, porterage and transport services” with the “stipulation of fictitious procurement contracts for the supply of manpower” and with a mechanism of alleged false invoices for «362 million». The prosecutor’s decree highlights “not only the systematic exploitation of workers but also enormous damage to the treasury”. A “labour exploitation” which, among other things, like the alleged “fraudulent” system, is “still in progress” and is to the “entire advantage” of the large-scale food distribution company. Spa from which, among other things, over 33 million had already been seized in 2022 in another investigation into alleged tax fraud. Carrefour is being investigated under the Law on the Administrative Responsibility of Entities. The decree states that the investigations are continuing to identify “further personnel reservoirs”, compared to those already put in black and white in the documents. Carrefour Italia, the company says in a note, «confirms that it has promptly taken action to offer maximum support and collaboration to the competent authorities. The issue under investigation concerns the company’s logistics activities. The company will remain available to investigators to facilitate the correct carrying out of all activities required by law.”

The mechanism

The investigation highlights how GS’ conduct is “fraudulent in nature, has lasted for many years” and has led to “the systematic exploitation of workers” and “huge damage to the treasury”. A mechanism which, according to the prosecutors, “is still in place” with “very significant” losses to the detriment of the State and situations of labor exploitation which continue to the full advantage of GS”. In the scheme that would have been set up to carry out the fraud, there appear to be “manpower reservoir companies” essentially providing services, which “erode the taxable contribution base” through the “manipulation of pay slips” and which issue invoices in comparisons of “filter company” (the contractor). The latter “re-invoice” final clients “for the sole purpose of lengthening the commercial chain” and “hindering” controls. The mechanism implemented also includes a “client company” (the beneficiary) which “simulates” the stipulation of low-cost procurement contracts, “giving an appearance of regularity”. The relationships between the subjects are “formalized by procurement and subcontracting contracts”, but the latter are “simulated, shielding a measly supply of manpower”. Among the main suppliers of labor to the supermarket chain, as stated in the decree, is Cedica srl, later “incorporated” into Samag Holding spa. The investigation documents also include the phenomenon, already highlighted in other similar cases, of the so-called “transhumance of labour”, which occurs when the “reservoir companies”, often set up as cooperatives, have a “short corporate life”, alternate “in over time”, are disposed of after having accumulated “large tax debts”. And workers are thus transferred from a closed company to a newly opened one. The investigative hypotheses focus on a complex tax fraud deriving from the use, by the final beneficiary, of the illicit invoice mechanism for legally non-existent operations against the stipulation of fictitious procurement contracts for the supply of labour, in violation of the legislation sector, which led to the issuing and consequent use of false documents for a total amount exceeding 362 million euros. In recent years there have been several similar investigations also focusing on porterage and private security, which involved several giants in the sector, including Dhl, Uber, Lidl, Brt, Geodis, Esselunga, Ups and Securitalia, just to name a few. .

#million #seized #Carrefour #Group
2024-04-17 07:07:35

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