ROME — The Vatican’s ongoing financial scandals show no sign of letting up as police have uncovered hundreds of thousands of euros in cash along with precious gold coins and medallions hidden in two homes of a suspended Vatican official.
According to a report by Italian investigative journalist Emiliano Fittipaldi, the stash of former Vatican administrator Fabrizio Tirabassi included several pounds of gold and silver coins as well as 600,000 euros in cash, much of which was stuffed into an old shoebox.
The total worth of the prize seized by Italian financial police was over two million euros, Fittipaldi wrote, and was divided between the house of the former Vatican official and a storage space owned by his 90-year-old father in the town of Celano, in central Italy’s Abruzzo region.
Tirabassi’s father used to run a small coin and stamp shop near the Vatican, reports state, which could help explain the immense find of valuable coins.
Fabrizio Tirabassi is an accountant who worked under disgraced Cardinal Angelo Becciu at the Vatican’s Secretariat of State until he was suspended last year together with four other employees. Mr. Tirabassi has been tied to the Vatican’s notorious purchase of millions of dollars’ worth of real estate in London’s upscale Chelsea neighborhood.
Tirabassi allegedly issued the Vatican — and was paid — some 15 million euros of false invoices over time and among his accounts is one in the Vatican Bank itself containing over a million euros.