Gruppo Mastrotto respond to allegations

9 September 2011

Italian tanning company, Gruppo Mastrotto have responded to recent media reports with a press release on September 2 clarifying their position regarding recent accusations of tax irregularities. It is alleged that the company sought payments from the government to pay some employee wages and social costs under Italian law during a period when orders were reduced while at the same time were putting millions of euros in offshore tax havens. Gruppo Mastrotto dispute the figures quoted in the Italian media.

Mastrotto say they have been working with tax authorities and have carried out an internal review of the company following the recent accusations, which were leaked to the press.

Following a press conference and subsequent press release from the tax authoritories in Vicenza on August 25 reports surfaced in the local and national Italian press about tax irregularities by the company.

Gruppo Mastrotto said in a press statement to Leather International on September 2 that the press conference in Vicenza had; ‘Generated a storm of criticism around the company that shocked and upset not only those who manage and work for Gruppo Mastrotto but also their commercial partners and clients who have known the company over many years’. The statement said that the media reports gave ‘an inaccurate and unfair representation of the Group that might damage its reputation’.

The company said that it is fully and openly cooperating with the tax authorities ‘showing its willingness to amend any past incorrect conduct and that they say had already been internally corrected before a recent audit of the company’.

Once a further internal investigation has been carried out Mastrotto said that the company directors would evaluate possible legal action following a series of information leaked to the press that they claim were ‘totally unjustified’.

Gruppo Mastrotto is a family owned business run by brothers Bruno and Santo Mastrotto, which was founded 53 years ago and is one of the largest tanning groups in Italy with sales worldwide. The company employ 1,260 people in Italy and 2,300 worldwide.

The company say that they implemented a serious internal audit system that can help prevent any future ‘crimes’. The audit has led to a widespread shake-up within the company and is based on the principles of legality and transparency. Mastrotto say that the authorities mentioned this during their press conference on August 25 but the media did not echo this.

Gruppo Mastrotto say in the press release that they are financially healthy and have the appropriate management to deal with, and overcome the challenges posed by the current difficult economic climate.   

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