The former director-general of the Vatican Bank (IOR), Paolo Cipriani, and his former deputy Massimo Tulli were sentenced to four months and 10 days in jail Thursday for breaching anti-money-laundering norms in a number of suspect transactions.
The former IOR chiefs were acquitted for alleged
irregularities linked to a 23-million-euro bank transfer, a sum
that was seized by investigators in 2010.
Last month a Rome prosecutor asked for sentences of one year
in jail for Cipriani and 10 months for Tulli a trial into
suspected breaches of Italy's anti-money-laundering norms linked
to two suspicious operations that led to the 2010 seizure of the
23 million euros, which was later returned to the Holy See's
The Vatican Bank, or Institute for Religious Works (IOR),
operated in Italy without authorization for 40 years, Rome
prosecutors said in the case.
Investigators said IOR acted as a bank without central bank
authorization until 2011, when the Bank of Italy told credit
institutions to consider it a non-EU bank. At that point, IOR
moved some of its banking activities to Germany.
However, Italian banks effectively stopped dealing with the
IOR in 2010 after the Bank of Italy ordered them to enforce
strict anti-money laundering criteria to continue working with
From January 1 to February 12, 2013, the Bank of Italy
froze all credit card and ATM transactions inside the Vatican
City over its failure to fully implement international
anti-money laundering standards.
The Council of Europe's Moneyval agency, a monitoring
group of financial experts, in 2015 praised the Vatican's
progress in trying to get onto the white list of countries with
strong credentials on combatting financial crime.
In January 2014, the Vatican Bank resumed normal relations
with Italy after implementing moves to prevent money laundering
and other financial crimes.