199 people are being investigated by the Public Prosecutor of Marsala for the hypothesis of Maxi fraud at INPS That in six years (from 2012 to 2018) it could have caused, to prosecutors, more than 676,000 euros in damages to the Social Welfare and Social Security Institution. These are amounts paid as unemployment benefits on the basis of employment, according to the “mock” accusation, to more than two hundred workers, most of whom are Tunisians. Many of them reside in Mazara del Vallo, the center of the scam, others in Marsala, Petrosino, Campobello di Mazara, Ribera, Sciacca and also in the centers of northern Italy.
Persons involved in the investigation, which was conducted by the police, were notified of the preliminary investigation findings, an act that is usually a prelude to a request for an indictment. The various accusations contested are competition fraud and false ideology.
According to the judges organizing the INPS scam, there were five people in November 2020 whose assets were confiscated for about one million euros. These are Sergio Agnello, 44, Niccol Pasalaqua, 51, Salvatore Asaro, 60, Francesco Di Pietra, 51, and Mehdi Amari, 43. Among them, Di Pietra, a chancellor, was captured last November. Agnello, Passalacqua and Asaro have paper companies operating in the construction, engineering and agricultural sectors that have been used for the fictitious employment necessary to collect unemployment benefits. Passalacqua, in particular, was a “promoter, educator, and regulator of fraud.” Tunisian Mehdi Ammari, a resident of Campobello de Mazara, was to undertake, according to the prosecutor, the task of finding workers to be hired on paper. Investigators (Karabinieri of the Trapani Provincial Command and the Command of the Labor and Labor Inspection Unit) made sure that the suspects, using only “paper” companies, had fictitiously hired 241 people, mostly of North African origin near the expiry of the residence permit. The judges said the remaining 194 suspects, according to the prosecution, “pledged to pay half of the allowances to the owners of the companies after dismissal from a job they had not previously done.”
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