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‘Destitute’ private jet owner fined thousands for tax fraud

The 38-year-old works as an entrepreneur in the agricultural sector in Ciriè, a town northwest of Turin, according to local paper TorinoToday.

He did not submit tax returns, saying that he owned no property and had no income.

But far from being a destitute farm worker, police discovered the man actually owned eight homes, 137 plots of land, and a private jet. He also had eight current accounts, used to hide an undeclared income of around €750,000.

The man now faces charged for evading €250,000 of taxes, and investigators have seized property worth around €260,000 to ensure that the repayments are made.

An EU-wide survey published earlier this month revealed Italians as the biggest tax-dodgers in the EU, and not for the first time. The state missed out on €36.9 billion in unpaid VAT tax in 2014.

The government has pledged that this debt will fall in 2016 and has taken steps to tackle tax evasion, including a “no questions asked” appeal to suspected dodgers to put their affairs in order.