RAI executive exits in fraud probe

Macchitella resigns post after being implicated

RAI Cinema director Carlo Macchitella has resigned after being implicated in the fraud probe into Hollywood content deals done by Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset TV empire.

Macchitella, among Italy’s top film execs, is under investigation in connection with E500,000 ($650,000) he allegedly received from the Swiss bank account of former Mediaset consultant Daniele Lorenzano.

Lorenzano negotiated many of Mediaset’s Hollywood deals in the 1990s.

Macchitella, who has not been indicted, has yet to be questioned by Milan magistrates. The probe sees Berlusconi, Mediaset CEO Fedele Confalonieri and British lawyer David Mills as defendants.

Macchitella’s lawyer Gianpiero Biancolella said his client had stepped down to expedite the investigation and clarify that he is innocent and his dealings with Lorenzano “were private and legitimate.”

It is unclear what role Macchitella, who is RAI’s main acquisitions exec for film and TV product in Hollywood, may have had in transactions made by Mediaset, which is RAI’s main competitor.

The case involves alleged tax evasion on TV rights deals for Hollywood movies.

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