MILAN — The Financial Guard in Como, Italy, confirmed published reports that a group of former Limoni perfumery chain executives have been charged with embezzlement, tax evasion and falsely declaring bankruptcy.

This story first appeared in the June 8, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

They include former company president Piofrancesco Borghetti and former chief executive officer and financial officer Nazzareno Brandoni, who are being sought. Arrests have been made of Antonio Lemma, owner of perfumery Vapre di Mozzate, and his wife Maria Cristina Bertesaghi, both Limoni suppliers. 

They have been charged with embezzling 19 million euros, or $23.9 million at current exchange; evading taxes, and making false bankruptcy claims. The new owners of Limoni are listed as damaged parties in the investigation, which was code named “Operation American Brands” by the authorities.

In a statement, Como’s Financial Guard said it had sequestered 32 million euros, or $40.3 million, spread across assorted bank accounts and safes, real estate property (including a villa worth 5 million euros, or $6.3 million, with a private swimming pool and woods), four cars and financial shares in three companies.

A spokeswoman at the Limoni chain declined to comment.