Nexia BT’s Brian Tonna, Karl Cini, Manuel Castagna, and Katrin Bondin Carter – along with several companies linked to the controversial accountancy firm – have pleaded not guilty to a host of criminal charges brought against them.
In court today, Magistrate Charmaine Galea said that the four people had all been charged with money laundering.
Tonna and Cini specifically have been charged in relation to corruption accusations and giving false statements to the courts. Meanwhile, Tonna, Cini, and Castagna have also been charged with making false declarations to officials and forgery.
The companies charged are:
Nexia BT, Nexia BT Limited, BT International Limited, Nexia BT Advisory Services Limited, BTI Services Limited, SPX, Willerby Trading, and KP Holdings.
Willerby, a British Virgin Islands shell company secretly owned by Tonna, was central to an alleged passport kickbacks scheme between Tonna and Keith Schembri.
According to a leaked report by the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU), Tonna transferred two €50,000 payments through Pilatus Bank to Schembri.
Schembri has claimed that the €100,000 was the repayment of a personal loan given to Tonna while the former underwent separation proceedings.
Appearing in court today, all four pleaded not guilty. Schembri will be charged later today.
Stephen Tonna Lowell is representing Tonna and Cini. Michael Sciriha and Matthew Xuereb are representing Manuel Castagna. Franco Debono and Amadeus Cachia are representing Bondin Carter. Gianella de Marco is appearing on behalf of the companies.
Tonna Lowell is defence counsel for Tonna and Cini. Sciriha is appearing for Castagna. Debono is appearing for Bondin Carter. Gianella de Marco is appearing for one of the companies.
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