Former Expo manager to repay over €1 million

Angelo Paris was arrested in May 2014.

Angelo Paris, former procurement planning manager for Expo Milan 2015 arrested for corruption in May 2014, has been sentenced to repay “at least €1 million”, the loss of income to the exposition organisers after he accepted bribes to lower the cost of contracts.

The payment will also include a further sum, still to be calculated, for loss of prestige suffered by Expo 2015 SpA.

Parisi was arrested along with several other top managers during the preparatory phase for the exposition when investigators uncovered a web of widespread corruption involving construction contracts.

The group was said to hold their clandestine meetings in the “Tommaso Moro” social centre. Investigators said they formed a “cupola” (the mafia term for board of directors) promising career advancement under political protection for managers and public servants prepared to steer contracts and bidding in return for bribes.

The gang had arranged for the granting of contracts to conniving suppliers for sums less than the established bidding level, but still higher that those bid by their competitors. During the execution of the contract, furthermore, one supplier had been paid another almost €3 million for increased costs.

All but one of the defendants had admitted guilt and avoided a long drawn-out trial – and the risk of a more severe sentence – by plea bargaining. In Paris’s case, he accepted a sentence of just over 2½ years in jail and a fine of €100,000 to close the case in December 2014.

But the criminal charge opened the door to a civil suit for damages, which this week came to a verdict. Last July, the Lombardy Court of Accounts had already notified Paris and another defendant, Antonio Acerbo, that they had been cited in a civil case for damages of over €5 million.

The sentence was handed down on Monday 13 February, by coincidence on the same day as the Prosecutor General of the central Court of Accounts, Claudio Galtieri, warned at the inauguration of the judicial year of “major corruption” in public tenders and called for more transparency and fewer exceptions.