Newly-elected politician in Sicily tax fraud arrest
The champagne corks had only just stopped popping in Sicily when one of the newly-elected councillors from Silvio Berlusconi's winning coalition was clapped in cuffs for tax evasion, Italy police said Wednesday.
Cateno De Luca, 45, was elected at regional elections on Sunday on a centre-right Union of the Centre (UCD) list, despite being accused by rivals of being an "unpresentable" -- a term used for candidates tarred by allegations of corruption.
He has been placed under house arrest over accusations that he and the president of a federation of small businesses in Sicily had developed a tax dodging system based on fake invoices.
The scheme is estimated to have cost the tax man some 1.75 million euros ($2 million), police said.
De Luca was already being prosecuted for tender rigging, according to Italy's La Repubblica daily. The prosecution has asked he be sent down for five years on that count, but the court has yet to rule.