Flush Mafia Invests Big in Recession Italy

It's buying up struggling companies
By A Ali,  Newser Staff
Posted May 27, 2009 2:22 PM CDT
Flush Mafia Invests Big in Recession Italy
Italy's three mafia groups made a combined net income of $98 billion last year.   (Shutter stock)

As banks spurn borrowers, Italian mafiosi are lending out their cash stockpiles to profit from the global recession, Bloomberg reports. Long invested in cash-intensive businesses like food distribution, the mafia is using its liquidity to take control of other legitimate businesses—and as a bonus, the three main mob outfits are using the occasion to launder their assets.

Young, savvy leaders are using their annual $180 billion in revenue to buy struggling companies in the tourism, restaurant, car, and fashion industries. “There’s a credit crisis that’s putting many businesses in a difficult position,” warns a Palermo prosecutor tracking the mob’s money. “The banks have tightened the purse strings, and many companies risk going bankrupt. Then there’s the Mafia world, which has vast amounts of cash.” (More Italy stories.)

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