Hong Kong women key to a massive money-laundering scheme

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Prosecutors in Italy say two Hongkongers are key figures in a sophisticated money-laundering scheme that spans at least nine countries and has operated for a quarter of a century.

The investigation has linked the scheme involving businesswomen Paddy Chan Mei-yiu and Katherine Hsu May-chun – who are standing trial in Italy – to former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi…

Chan and Hsu, along with nine others, are accused of buying rights for US television series and movies, then reselling them to Berlusconi’s Italian media conglomerate Mediaset at inflated prices and laundering the money in a complex scheme.

In 2006, Italian prosecutors estimated the illicit profits between 1988 and 1999 amounted to US$170 million.

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