Privilege Yachts former CEO arrested as part of bankruptcy investigation

Former CEO of Italian yard Privilege Yachts Mario La Via, has been placed under house arrest as part of a bankruptcy investigation into the collapse of the yard in 2015. Finance director Antonio Battista has also been arrested.

Charges include fraudulent bankruptcy filings, violating anti-mafia legislation, and tax crimes, according to Boat International and local publication La Nazione.

The two men are accused of purchasing luxury cars using company funds worth up to €320,000, according to reports from Italian newspaper, La Repubblica. The operation also included the seizure of a real estate portfolio worth €25 million. Prosecutors have also claimed that Privilege Yachts paid for the rent on the house of the president of the Civitavecchia port authority.

The yard filed for bankruptcy in 2015, with debts of a reported €210 million, but failed to find a buyer after being put up for auction last July.

Privilege Yachts was originally founded in 2006, before signing a contract to build 126m superyacht Privilege One in 2008. It has also been reported that CEO La Via hid the state of the company’s bankruptcy when applying for a loan to help fund the construction of Privilege One. 

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