Prosecutors: Vatican Bank Covered for Mafia

Bank hid source of client funds, say officials
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 13, 2010 1:40 AM CST
Prosecutors: Vatican Bank Covered for Mafia
Authorities are charging that the Vatican Bank deliberately hid Mafia funds.   (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

The Vatican Bank knowingly hid money for the mafia, breaking money laundering laws in the process, prosecutors allege in documents filed in Italian court. Investigators also suspect that several members of the clergy have acted as fronts for mobbed-up businessmen. The allegations spring from a money-laundering probe into the Church’s bank, which led police to seize €23 million ($30 million) in September, the Independent reports.

The Vatican calls the probe a “misunderstanding” that it hopes will be resolved quickly. But this isn’t the first scandal for the holy bank, and a mob connection has been rumored ever since two Vatican financial advisers died in what looked suspiciously like hits in the ‘80s. Holocaust survivors are optimistic this latest probe could help them recover money stolen by the Nazis, which they have long believed hidden in the bank. (More banks stories.)

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