In 2018, Becciu gave a third sum to Spes Cooperative of 100,000 euros from Peter’s Pence, of which he had control as “sostituto.”
There appear to be questions around whether these funds were used for their ostensible charitable purposes.
The bishop of Ozieri and president of the diocesan Caritas, Corrado Melis, said in a statement addressed to Becciu Sept. 24 that the diocesan Caritas “has never been the beneficiary” of undue or illegitimate favor, and that it has “never used a single penny” of funds given for charitable works for other purposes.
Becciu himself denied any guilt, saying that he “may have made a mistake out of too much love for my diocese, but I do not see the crime. I am ready to shout the truth,” Il Fatto Quotidiano reported.
A second instance of Becciu working in the favor of a brother reportedly occurred when he was papal nuncio in Angola and later in Cuba, when the carpentry company of Becciu’s brother, Francesco, was hired to furnish and repair several churches in the two countries.
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Becciu also reportedly helped to bring in customers for Angel’s srl, a specialty food and beverage distributor, of which another brother, Mario, is majority partner and legal representative.
The Becciu family put out a statement Friday saying that news reports that members of their family received financial favors from their brother, the cardinal, were “unfounded and maliciously false, in particular for the imaginative and unprovable references to alleged donations from Peter’s Pence.”
Reportedly, the large proceeds of the companies of the Becciu brothers were later reinvested in low-risk safe-haven equity, holding and financial packages. Income generated from these investments was then reinvested in funds previously invested in by the Secretariat of State, such as the Centurion Fund.
Through Crasso, Becciu also became acquainted with Lorenzo Vangelisti, CEO of Valeur Group, an asset management, advisory, trading, and real estate company.
Vangelisti was involved in the Vatican’s purchase of the Sloane Avenue property in London, together with the director of Valeur capital, Alessando Noceti, who used to work for Suisse Credit in London.
This was not the only time that Becciu has faced accusations that he used his position to benefit family members. CNA reported last year about the hiring of Becciu’s niece, Maria Piera Becciu, as the personal secretary of Fr. Franco Decaminada, the former president of an Italian hospital, also linked to a Vatican financial scandal.
Decaminada had approached Becciu in 2011, shortly after he started his role at the Secretariat of State, asking him for support on a proposal that the Vatican supply the failing Istituto Dermopatico dell’Immacolata (IDI), with 200 million euros.
Decaminada was then a senior member of the Sons of the Immaculate Conception, the order which then owned and oversaw the IDI. He was arrested in 2013 and sent to prison for his part in the massive fraud and corruption around IDI’s collapse, and eventually laicized.
As reported by CNA in 2019, Becciu has also been accused of attempting to disguise millions of euros in loans on the Vatican balance sheets by canceling them out against the value of the London property, an accounting maneuver prohibited by financial policies approved by Pope Francis in 2014.
The loans, acquired through Swiss banks, triggered an internal dispute between the Secretariat of State and Vatican financial authorities, in particular, with Cardinal George Pell, who was then responsible for the Secretariat for Economy.
In a statement following Becciu’s resignation Thursday, Pell said he hoped that “the cleaning of the stables continues in both the Vatican and Victoria.”
“The Holy Father was elected to clean up Vatican finances. He plays a long game and is to be thanked and congratulated on recent developments,” he said from Sydney, Australia.