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Cecchi Gori investigated for buying votes

Movie mogul allegedly paid $10,000 to mafia

MILAN — Adding one more headache to Vittorio Cecchi Gori’s long list of misfortunes, magistrates in Catania, Sicily have launched an investigation into whether the financially-troubled media tycoon tried to buy votes in his failed attempt to be re-elected to the Italian Senate last spring.

According to the magistrates, Cecchi Gori paid $10,000 to an alleged vote-buying scheme controlled by Sicily’s mafia. Several local politicians are also implicated.

In connection with the probe, Police on Tuesday raided Cecchi Gori’s private apartments in Palazzo Borghese, Rome. Police were not available for comment and the Cecchi Gori Group refused to comment.

The probe is the latest in a series of setbacks for the producer of the Oscar-winning hit, “Life is Beautiful.”

Cecchi Gori, who is facing a multimillion-dollar divorce from producer Rita Rusic, has already lost control of his TV stations and is close to losing his Fiorentina soccer team, now on the verge of bankruptcy.

Two close associates of Cecchi Gori were accused last year of money laundering. This year, Cecchi Gori has been personally accused of possessing cocaine and the falsification of Fiorentina’s accounts.

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