Operation ‘Bitter Pill’ seizes 10 million in assets

ROME—The Italian Financial Guard have seized nearly 10 million euros worth of assets belonging to business tycoon Francesco Varsi. Operation ‘Bitter Pill’ uncovered that Varsi had committed several tax evasion offences and consequently eight of his businesses related to the restaurant industry in Rome were seized, as well as several cars, motorbikes and items of jewellery.

 The entrepreneur, 70, is originally from Campania but had built his restaurant empire in Rome’s bustling city centre. Among those seized by the IFG were ‘Varsi Bistro’ on via delle Conciliazione, ‘Frankie’s Grill’ on via Venuto, both ‘La Scuderia’ and ‘La Piazzetta del Quirinale’, which are in close proximity to the Trevi Fountain, and ‘Augustea’ in the boulevard of Trastevere.

 A statement from the IFG states that Varsi is guilty of “numerous and systematic criminal practices related to tax evasion, achieved through a complicated corporate lattice, which has been seized.”

 Varsi was also described by the IFG as an entrepreneur who “specialised in breaking tax laws.”

 In addition to taking control of his eight businesses, the IFG also seized 19 properties, 13 motor vehicles and several items of value including watches, antiques and precious stones.

 All of the assets that have been seized by the IFG will now be managed by a pool of judiciary administrators nominated by the high court in Rome.

 The IGF revealed that Varsi had siphoned off a huge amount of capital, “completely disproportionate to his extremely modest annual income.”

 The businessman was already known to the Police due to his previous convictions that stemmed from 1966 to 2011.  These included, insulting and resisting a police officer, selling industrial products with misleading labels, intimidation, assault and robbery.