Gian Mario Rossignolo, Chairman of bankrupt De Tomaso, has been arrested by Italian Tax Police over misuse of public funds.
There was always something a little odd about the plans of Gian Mario Rossignolo for De Tomaso.
Not at first, it’s true, but when De Tomaso delivered the Deauville Crossover as the opening salvo we all knew the new De Tomaso was an accident waiting to happen.
That accident happened after a string of broken promises on new cars, new funding and new owners when De Tomaso was, once again, declared bankrupt. And now it seems there may be more to the bankruptcy than just a failure to deliver a car anyone actually wanted.
Rossignolo has been arrested by Italy’s Tax Police – along with De Tomaso’s head of human resources and a financial intermediary – in a probe by the tax authorities in Italy looking at the misuse of public funds by De Tomaso.
Police believe that De Tomaso may have used a false bank guarantee to receive funding from the Piedmont Region and the European Union. The money was supposed to be used to fund the training of workers to produce the new De Tomaso cars in the old Pininfarina plant near Turin, but the police believe the money may have ended up in the three men’s own bank accounts instead.
Interestingly, this isn’t Rossignolo’s first attempt at reviving an Italian marque. In the 1990s he tried the same with Isotta, built one car which debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in 1996, and that was as far as it went.