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DeTomaso boss Rossignolo arrested in probe for $9.2 million in public funds

Just days after it was announced that the current incarnation of the DeTomaso brand had declared bankruptcy, reports have come out of Italy today that DeTomaso chairman Gian Mario Rossignolo and two other chief executives from DeTomaso have been arrested to determine whether the three misused $9.2 million dollars in public funding.

Gian Mario Rossignolo intended to generate a rebirth of the DeTomaso brand beginning with the production of a new crossover/sport utility vehicle, a new offering in the limo segment and the return of the high performance DeTomaso Pantera supercar. The new DeTomaso brand had planned to use a former Pininfarina factory in Turin Italy to build these new models with roughly 1,000 workers hired and trained to run the plant. Unfortunately, those 1,000 workers have been temporary layoff since 2010.

Part of the DeTomaso business plan included public funding to turn around the Turin factory, which included millions of dollars to go towards a training project. Overall, the company received roughly $9.2 million US dollars (7.5 million Euros) to bring the brand back to life but when the automaker began complaining of financial issues, Italian authorities asked tax police to look into how the millions of dollars of public funding were being used. Unfortunately for the DeTomaso bosses, the early stages of the investigation found that funds may have been channeled to privately held bank accounts – one of which reportedly belonged to DeTomaso head and former Fiat executive Gian Mario Rossignolo. The other two accounts were allegedly held by the head of DeTomaso’s human resources office and “a financial intermediary”.

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