You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Berlusconi fraud case dealt a blow

Mishandled evidence to be returned to U.S.

ROME — Italian prosecutors in the ongoing fraud case of Silvio Berlusconi were dealt a serious blow after a federal judge in Los Angeles ruled that evidence seized in a recent raid of co-defendant Frank Agrama’s Hollywood home and offices cannot be used in the trial.

U.S. District Judge Dean Pregerson made the extraordinary order Wednesday in Los Angeles, saying the evidence seized in November from Agrama’s Bel-Air home and Sunset Boulevard offices was mishandled and must be returned to the U.S.

Berlusconi, Agrama, British attorney David Mills and nine others are accused in Italy of a tax evasion scheme involving TV rights deals for Hollywood movies.

Hollywood TV producer Agrama, whose best-known TV title was the “Shaka Zulu” series, acted as a middleman in several Mediaset transactions with Paramount in the 1980s and ’90s.

Agrama’s attorney, Alejandro Mayorkas, told the Los Angeles Times he believes Italian prosecutors initiated the raid “to seize and review our client’s trial preparation and other privileged materials because the trial was about to start.”

Italian prosecutors deny the allegation, but conceded the federal judge’s decision Wednesday could result in “very serious damage for the investigation.”

Berlusconi has stood trial eight times over the years on various fraud charges and has never been convicted. The case is due to resume in March.

More Biz

  • Richard Parsons. Ricard Parsons attends the

    Richard Parsons Named Interim Chairman of CBS' Board of Directors

    ROME — Italian prosecutors in the ongoing fraud case of Silvio Berlusconi were dealt a serious blow after a federal judge in Los Angeles ruled that evidence seized in a recent raid of co-defendant Frank Agrama’s Hollywood home and offices cannot be used in the trial. U.S. District Judge Dean Pregerson made the extraordinary order […]

  • Jon Platt Martin Bandier

    Jon Platt to Officially Succeed Martin Bandier at Sony/ATV Music Publishing

    ROME — Italian prosecutors in the ongoing fraud case of Silvio Berlusconi were dealt a serious blow after a federal judge in Los Angeles ruled that evidence seized in a recent raid of co-defendant Frank Agrama’s Hollywood home and offices cannot be used in the trial. U.S. District Judge Dean Pregerson made the extraordinary order […]

  • John Malone

    What Does a Two-Headed SiriusXM/Pandora Giant Mean for the Radio Industry?

    ROME — Italian prosecutors in the ongoing fraud case of Silvio Berlusconi were dealt a serious blow after a federal judge in Los Angeles ruled that evidence seized in a recent raid of co-defendant Frank Agrama’s Hollywood home and offices cannot be used in the trial. U.S. District Judge Dean Pregerson made the extraordinary order […]

  • Bill Cosby arrives for his sentencing

    Bill Cosby's Downfall the Result of Small Decisions and Big Culture Shift

    ROME — Italian prosecutors in the ongoing fraud case of Silvio Berlusconi were dealt a serious blow after a federal judge in Los Angeles ruled that evidence seized in a recent raid of co-defendant Frank Agrama’s Hollywood home and offices cannot be used in the trial. U.S. District Judge Dean Pregerson made the extraordinary order […]

  • The Ozzy Osbourne-AEG Lawsuit Is Over,

    The Ozzy Osbourne-AEG Lawsuit Is Over, But the War of Words Rages On …

    ROME — Italian prosecutors in the ongoing fraud case of Silvio Berlusconi were dealt a serious blow after a federal judge in Los Angeles ruled that evidence seized in a recent raid of co-defendant Frank Agrama’s Hollywood home and offices cannot be used in the trial. U.S. District Judge Dean Pregerson made the extraordinary order […]

  • Tarana Burke

    One Year After #MeToo Shook Hollywood, the Fight Rages on (Column)

    ROME — Italian prosecutors in the ongoing fraud case of Silvio Berlusconi were dealt a serious blow after a federal judge in Los Angeles ruled that evidence seized in a recent raid of co-defendant Frank Agrama’s Hollywood home and offices cannot be used in the trial. U.S. District Judge Dean Pregerson made the extraordinary order […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content