Mismanagement of Vatican money

In the trial of 10 individuals accused of defrauding the Vatican, a witness described a culture of mismanagement in the Secretariat of State.

The trial centres around the purchase in 2018 of a property in London by the Vatican’s Secretariat of State that ultimately cost the institution well over $200 million, mainly taken from papal funds destined for charity.

Dubbed the trial of the century, allegations of fraud led to Vatican Chief of Staff, Cardinal Angelo Becciu being forced to resign by the Pope.

However, the Cardinal has always maintained that claims he misused Vatican funds, embezzled an estimated €100,000 and gave the money to a charity run by his brother, Tonino Becciu are “unfounded”.

Now at the start of a second year of hearings, the judges are being presented with testimony from the Vatican prosecutor’s 27 witnesses.

One, Revisor General Alessandro Cassinis Righini, said that that the Secretariat adopted a position of “clear resistance” to any form of financial oversight and also claimed that Cardinal Becciu said: “we are used to controlling, not to being controlled”.

During the investigation, Revisor Righini said he found €928 million deposited in a Credit Suisse account and invested in “highly speculative products”. He also claimed that Pope Francis had no knowledge of this money.

Roger Isaacs, Forensic Partner at Milsted Langdon, said: “Unpicking what happened long ago is a very complex exercise but it is often even harder to ascertain who knew what.

“It is often the role of forensic accountants to explore the complex finances of an organisation to investigate whether they shed any light on both what was done and who may have been the controlling mind behind potentially unlawful transactions.

“Ultimately it will be a judge, jury or other arbitrator who has to weigh the evidence but the way in which the evidence is presented can be of pivotal importance, especially in the case of financial data that is difficult for non-experts to understand

For that reason, the ability to present evidence clearly, unambiguously and persuasively is a key element of the role of any accountancy expert witness.”


Source(s): Catholic News Agency

Posted in Blog, The Forensic Blog.