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Briatore cleared in yacht tax dodge case

Seizure of vessel and 3.6 mn euros revoked, Genoa court rules

(ANSA) - ROME, JAN 26 - A Genoa appeals court on Wednesday acquitted former Benetton and Renault FI boss and billionaire businessman Flavio Briatore of charges of tax evasion and irregular chartering regarding his luxury yacht Force Blue.
    The flamboyant 71-year-old, who also briefly owned the Queen Parks Rangers football club, was cleared along with another three people "because a crime was not committed", the court said.
    The maxi-yacht was seized off La Spezia in 2010 when the manager was on board with his then wife Elisabetta Gregoraci and their young son.
    The appeals judges revoked the confiscation of the yacht and of some 3.6 million euros in allegedly dodged VAT.
    The case was sent back to the appeals stage by the supreme Court of Cassation which quashed an 18-month suspended sentence for Briatore in the case.
    Force Blue was auctioned off last year and ex-F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone landed the luxury vessel for seven million euros, far below the estimate of 20 million. (ANSA).


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