The first of a series of investigations into the financial affairs of Damanhur’s founder Oberto Airaudi was concluded this month. A criminal case for tax evasion will follow.
Here is a translation of the article by Rita Cola which appeared in ‘La Sentinella del Canavese’ on the 20th of May 2010
Controls for tax evasion conducted by the Revenue Office: four years of commercial activity under scrutiny – Airaudi settles with the tax authorities
The founder of Damanhur pays one million two hundred thousand euro
Ivrea: The situation regarding tax evasion on the part of Oberto Airaudi, Falco, and founder in 1975 of the Esoteric Community of Damanhur has been concluded. After a cross examination lasting four months with the Revenue Office of Ivrea, Falco complied with a verbal order for the payment of almost one million two hundred thousand euro.
It is a complex situation and to understand it we need to take a step backwards. It was in January 2007 that the Revenue Office began an accounting control. The previous four years of ‘accounts’ by Damanhur’s founder were scrutinized. His personal accounts and those of his commercial activities conducted under the auspices of VAT registration for the ‘alternative’ professions of prana therapy, esoteric consultancy, courses and art.
The personal estate of Airaudi is very substantial: more than fifty buildings and land holdings. Excluded from the calculations, the galaxy of associations, individual companies and cooperatives that make up the financial heart and production of Damanhur, the largest esoteric community in Europe with 400 residents and thousands of supporters all over the world.
The authorities scrutinized thousands of commercial transactions by Airaudi and in the end issued a verbal order that hypothesized tax evasion of two million two hundred thousand euro. The sanction, if everything had stopped at that point, would have been four million four hundred thousand euro. The documents were sent to the Public Prosecutor and a dossier was opened on Airaudi with regard to false declarations of income.
The news began to circulate on the internet. The position was clarified by Airaudi’s lawyers. Falco had not complied with the verbal order and wanted to demonstrate by means of his consultants that there had been an error. As provided for by law, a contributor who does not comply with a formal notice can enter into a cross examination with the Revenue Office. The contributor is expected to produce evidence to contradict the Revenue’s claims. Over the past few months an enormous amount of work has been needed to clarify the situation. In the meantime the Revenue and Excise Commission authorized the cautionary sequestering of four million euro of Airaudi’s real estate wealth. A curious note: since certain fiscal controls have come into effect that privilege a system of confrontation and discounts aimed at immediately collecting money at the disposal of ‘public affairs’, the estate of Airaudi was the first to be sequestered in Piedmont.
Falco’s consultants presented documents to the Revenue Office to demonstrate the provenance of his money. The sum contested at the beginning amounted to 800,000 euro. At that point Airaudi and his legal representatives complied with the verbal order and took advantage of the discount on the sanctions. The choice to comply, they underline, was done to avoid further cross examination by the Revenue Office which would have therefore canceled the discount. They also want to make clear that Airaudi had always entrusted his consultants with his tax returns (now sacked) and did not personally oversee the management of the fiscal aspects of his estate.
His legal representatives were not concerned about legal penalties and declared: “We can use the documents that we chose not to produce in a cross examination with the Revenue Office”.