“You have to give me half of your salary”

“We were alone in his office when Lo Mauro told me that I had to pay him half of my total remuneration in the context of the judicial procedure … I was astonished, so much so that I could not reply, I was confused and very upset and I would never have expected such a request “. This is how, crying and with much embarrassment, an accounting and tax consultant reported to the financial police of the alleged extortion suffered by the judicial administrator, the accountant Antonio Lo Mauro, 55, ended up under house arrest this morning for extortion aggravated at the disposal of the investigating judge Cristina Lo Bue. The alleged victim would have been “forced to pay” because “I feared that my refusal could jeopardize my personal relationship with Lo Mauro and therefore negatively affect the possibility of continuing to collaborate with him”.

“I am the only source of income for my family, I could not refuse ” It is a scenario that one would not expect to find among long-time professionals and above all in the management of confiscated assets, especially after the scandals of recent years that overwhelmed the former president of the Preventive Measures section of the court, Silvana Saguto, also disbarred from the judiciary, and the “king” of judicial administrators, the lawyer Gaetano Cappellano Seminara. As emerges from the investigation coordinated by the deputy prosecutor Sergio Demontis and by the deputy Claudia Ferrari, Lo Mauro (to whom 9 other judicial administrations have been entrusted over time) would have taken advantage of the weakness and the “state of necessity” of the alleged victim: “I am the ‘the only source of income for my family – the woman explained to the investigators – for me it was absolutely essential to continue collaborating in that procedure “. The complaint from another judicial administrator The story would have matured in the context of the management of the seizure (today confiscation) of the Buttita quarries, until 2015 entrusted to Saguto and Cappellano Seminara, then forced to resign due to the well-known legal matter that led them to a first-degree conviction. Lo Mauro and an engineer were appointed in their place, with a view to a total change of pace. If the first ended up under house arrest with a very serious charge, the other is the one who instead denounced the alleged extortion at the center of the investigation. “The consultant feared other requests for money” The other judicial administrator, in fact, would have learned from the consultant that she would have been forced to pay 5 thousand euros in cash in the summer of 2017 and then also to pay Lo Mauro’s debt to another professional, with two separate payments from 3,120 euros each, between August 2018 and that of 2019. As the engineer reported to the financial police last April, the alleged victim would have had a “non-serene tone” and would have “been in a state of need, giving rise to the concern of new requests for money “. The witness also spoke of another Lo Mauro study colleague who would also have been forced to pay him sums. A story on which investigations are underway. “I was forced to pay” On May 19, the investigators heard the alleged victim, who explained that he had a relationship of “consolidated knowledge and trust” with Lo Mauro and that for the assignment in the Buttita procedure he had “received a salary of 36 thousand euros per year”. The woman admitted that she had “been forced to pay” and, as the military remark, such admissions “were made with much embarrassment and difficulty”, while “she was crying and was visibly emotionally distressed”. The alleged victim explained that “due to my state of need in the family, I have a husband and two children, I am the only source of income” and “I feared that my refusal could jeopardize my personal relationship with Lo Mauro and consequently negatively affect the possibility of continuing to collaborate with him “, specifying that the first donation, of 5-6 thousand euros, would date back to the summer of 2017 and that it would have taken place in two tranches. ” We were alone, he told me I had to give him half of my wages ” Lo Mauro’s request would have taken place in his studio in via Tripoli: “We were alone – the consultant puts in the minutes – when Lo Mauro clearly said that I had to pay him sums of money, specifying that the amount was the net of 50 per cent of the my total remuneration that I received in the context of the Buttita procedure. I was astonished by your request, so much so that I could not reply, I was confused and very upset because I would never have expected such a request “. The professional added that that procedure “was very important to me because it was an assignment that allowed me to obtain periodic compensation. They are the only source of income for my family, so you understand – she told investigators – that for me it was absolutely essential to continue to collaborate in this area. Therefore I was forced to withdraw between 5 and 6 thousand euros in cash, with more withdrawals at the ATM, and to deliver the money to Lo Mauro “. “He also asked me to pay the bill to a colleague of his” The story, however, would not have ended like this: “In the following years – the alleged victim always states – there were other requests for money only that Lo Mauro made me pay bills issued by one of his studio collaborators. In August 2018 Lo Mauro she sent me a Whatsapp message asking me to pay an invoice issued by her colleague. She sent me the Pdf file of the invoice issued by her colleague but I replied that I could not pay it as it was not in my name. direct conversation with Lo Mauro and then with his colleague, to whom I told him that I had to pay his invoice, only that at that point he would have to issue it to me. And he did. It is about 3 thousand euros, which I paid with a bank transfer. I understood that message from Lo Mauro of 7 August 2018 as an explicit and further request for money from me as I have never had any professional relationship with his colleague “. “I had to pay another 3 thousand euros in 2019” The same trick would have been used by the suspect also the following year, that is in 2019: “Once again Lo Mauro sent me a Whatsapp message asking me to pay an invoice to the same colleague. He wrote me that ‘he needed a hand’ with she but I did not understand what it was. He specified that he had a pending relationship with her and that he had not yet received a payment from a judicial administration. proceeded to pay by bank transfer. I repeat that this professional has never performed services in my favor and consequently there is no underlying reason for issuing the invoices in question “. Lo Mauro’s message:” I have to ask you for a hand … ” The professional who would have been harassed also showed the message of 5 August that Lo Mauro would have sent: “Hello, when are you going on vacation? I have to ask you for a hand with … I have not been liquidated by a judicial administration and I have a slope with her … “. The text would therefore confirm the story of the alleged victim. The finance police also heard from Lo Mauro’s colleague who allegedly collected that money. He explained that “the invoices were related to professional services rendered for Lo Mauro and that therefore he would have had to pay”, adding that he would have assisted the judicial administrator in another procedure and would have agreed with him “a payment in my favor of 3 thousand euros, as an advance on my final remuneration “. The woman admitted that “Lo Mauro asked me to issue an invoice for 3,000 euros against the alleged victim. The other 9 procedures entrusted to the investigated administrator The suspect, in addition to the Buttita procedure, is also the judicial administrator of Segesta Green Tours srl of Calatafimi Segesta, Clemente Costruzioni srl of Castevetrano, A&G srl of Camastra, Colorificio Favel srl of Palermo, FG Riuniti srl of Palermo, Playmate srl of Villabate, La Chicca Casertano di Bagheria, Baratta Pietro di Termini Imerese company, Edil Vaccaro Sas in liquidation of Villabate.

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