Italy court makes acquittal final in UniCredit tax fraud case: source

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[March 11, 2016]  MILAN (Reuters) - Italy's top appeals court has rejected an attempt to overthrow a verdict that last year acquitted former UniCredit head Alessandro Profumo and 19 other bank managers in an alleged tax fraud case at the Italian lender, a judicial source said.

The case centered on a 245 million euro ($272 million) suspected tax fraud resulting from a complex financial scheme, known as Project Brontos, set up by Barclays to allow UniCredit to pay lower taxes between 2007 and 2009.

In March last year a Rome judge cleared Profumo, who left UniCredit in 2010, and the other 19 people but prosecutors appealed the decision.

The source said on Friday the top court had declared the appeal inadmissible, meaning the acquittal is now final.

"UniCredit...expresses its full satisfaction having always maintained, with the utmost conviction, that its representatives and employees, including those who have left the bank, always acted correctly," a UniCredit spokesman said.

Prosecutors had alleged the Brontos financial scheme helped UniCredit depict part of its income as dividends allowing it to benefit from a more favorable tax rate under Italian law.

(Reporting by Massimiliano Di Giorgio, writing by Valentina Za; editing by Susan Thomas)

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