- The Washington Times - Friday, June 28, 2013

A Vatican accountant has been arrested on charges of fraud and corruption related to a money-laundering scheme to bring $26 million from Switzerland into Italy aboard an Italian government plane, authorities said.

Monsignor Nunzio Scarano was arrested before the plane ever left the ground, The Associated Press reported. His attorney, Silverio Sica, said he’s accused of being a middleman for the scheme, which also allegedly involved his friends.

Monsignor Scarano was reportedly asked to convince a broker, Giovanni Carenzio, to give back $26 million he was going to invest on his friends’ behalf. An Italian secret service agent — Mario Zito — was supposed to fly to Switzerland, recoup the money and return it to Monsignor Scarano’s friends. But the broker changed his mind and the plot fell through, AP reported.

Both Mr. Carenzio and Mr. Zito were arrested, too. Monsignor Scarano had already been suspended from his job in the Vatican’s financial department, AP reported.