Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sophia Loren Tax Evasion

Sophia Loren served a 30-day prison sentence in Italy, after a court found her guilty of failing to report five million lire on her income tax return for 1970.  

"I'm very worried about the time I will have to spend in jail," Loren told reporters at the Rome airport in 1982. While Loren filed a petition for pardon with President Sandro Pertini, saying her accountants made an error, Loren and her husband, producer Carlo Ponti, had been under investigation for tax and currency violations for quite some time.

In detail, on February 8, 1977, Italian police searched the Pontis' private home and business offices. The government believed Ponti was guilty of income tax evasion, the misuse of government subsidies, and the illegal export of Italian funds. A warrant was issued for Ponti's arrest. Loren was charged as an accomplice.

In 1979 the government tried the couple, in absentia. Ponti was found guilty and sentenced to four years in prison, and fined 22 billion lire (about 24 million dollars). Loren was acquitted.

In 1982, an Italian court convicted Sophia Loren of committing tax evasion. She served 17 days of her 30-day sentence, just over two weeks total, in a Naples jail.The charges were over a $7,000 discrepancy on her 1970 tax return.   Ponti was eventually cleared of all charges in 1987.

Back in 1977, it has to be noted that finance police nabbed Loren before she caught a flight to Paris and detained her for nine hours at Rome's Leonardo da Vinci Airport. Prior to that, 10 Italian police agents searched the couple's villa in Rome for seven hours without giving a reason for the search.

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