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Vatican, Pope |  One of the Pope's closest accused of multi-billion dollar fraud

Vatican, Pope | One of the Pope’s closest accused of multi-billion dollar fraud

Cardinal Angelo Piccio, 73, is accused of misusing church funds.

to me BBC The cardinal and nine others are accused of spending $412 million in church money on a property in Chelsea, London. The area is known for its luxury homes and exclusive shops and restaurants.

$412 million is equivalent to about 3.7 billion Norwegian kroner in today’s currency.

The Vatican Prosecutor’s Office believes the defendants cheated the Vatican out of millions of euros. Everyone denies that they have done anything wrong.

Pope sacked Cardinal Pesio in September, after a report on economic misconduct.

It was a two-year investigation that shed light on how the church lost millions of dollars, including donations, after buying a department store in Chelsea in 2014. The cardinal was previously responsible for donations to the General Secretariat that handles Vatican funds.

The charge also includes that he transferred money to his brothers in Sardinia.

The other nine will be charged with extortion, embezzlement, money laundering and abuse of office, respectively.

The trial is expected to last more than four months. If found guilty, they could be at risk of imprisonment, fines, or both.