Millions of euros in money to obtain assignments for ministerial projects. Wads and utility for about 500 thousand euros in favor of a former senior official of the Ministry of Education. These are the accusations made by the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Rome towards the entrepreneur Federico Bianchi of Castelbianco arrested today on charges of corruption together with two other collaborators.
The investigations, entrusted to the special currency police unit of the Guardia di Finanza, revealed an illicit system that had been going on since 2018. The arrested, editor of the Dire news agency, is a de facto director of three companies and a foundation, all based in Rome, operating in the communication and training sector.
According to the indictment, the former head of the department for human, financial and instrumental resources of the Ministry of Education, Giovanna Boda, received the bribes. The proceeding, last April, had experienced a dramatic transition after a suicide attempt carried out by the ministerial executive, perhaps linked to the fact that the news of his involvement had appeared in some press articles.
“The accusations addressed to me have upset me – says today the former manager through the mouth of his defender, the lawyer Giulia Bongiorno -. I do not ask for compassion, but respect for the humiliation and pain that have been inflicted on me. I have always served the state with rigor and honesty: I asked to be questioned precisely to clarify my position. This situation, however, has made me very fragile, so for the moment I ask everyone for respect and understanding for the state of prostration in which I find myself ».
A preventive seizure of approximately 340 thousand euros was ordered against Boda. The suspects are also charged with the crime of revelation and use of the confidentiality of the investigation. According to what was ascertained by the prosecutors of piazzale Clodio, the entrepreneur in exchange for a preferential lane to obtain credit for public projects for a total of 23 million euros (on which further investigative investigations will be carried out) gave the official bribes consisting of prepaid credit, wire transfers, car rental fees and payment of the rent for the parents’ apartment.
Bianchi di Castelbianco, who also had access to meetings reserved for the ministry where the projects to be entrusted were discussed, would also pay Boda the expenses for the maid, medical treatment and violin lessons as well as promises of hiring and promises to buy real estate. The other two people reached by precautionary measure are Valentina Franco and Fabio Condoleo, employees of the entrepreneur but in fact collaborators of Boda. The investigation was triggered after some reports of suspicious transactions. The men of the Guardia di Finanza analyzed the entrepreneur’s financial flows and ordered wiretapping.
“You have the phones under control how the fuck I have to tell you and I also have mine, that’s enough,” says Bianchi di Castelbianco in an audio stolen and cited in the precautionary custody order. For the investigating judge, the entrepreneur “moved and still moves with ease within the department, being able to count on relationships of collaboration dating back and consolidated” and the prison is an adequate measure for precautionary needs as the suspect can “persevere in the offense to grab the award of bids already announced or to prepare future tenders and / or projects ».
In recent weeks, the investigators have acquired a series of documents during searches that also involved the offices of the ministry in viale Trastevere. For Bianchi di Castelbianco the guarantee questioning is set for 13 September. Meanwhile, the journalists of the Dire agency, in a note from the editorial committee, “underline that their work goes on, guaranteeing professional continuity and the commitment that has always distinguished them in describing territories and institutions”.
THE EDITORIAL SAY: OUR WORK GOES FORWARD
The editorial committee of the Dire news agency intervenes on the case. In a note he says: «L’arest of the publisher does not affect the professionalism of the Agency. The journalists of the Dire press agency, also representing the technical and administrative areas of the company, having learned the news regarding the current measures against the publisher, underline that their work goes on guaranteeing professional continuity and the commitment that has always it distinguishes them in describing the territories and institutions. The measures announced today by the competent authorities, despite their relevance, do not affect and will not affect the dedication and quality of work expressed on a daily basis and can be measured consistently in the news, on the website and on social platforms.».