Last Tuesday, a woman key to the financial scandal involving former Cardinal Becciu was arrested by Interpol on an international warrant issued by the Vatican.
Cecilia Marogna was hired by Becciu when he was the ‘chief of staff’ to Pope Francis to supposedly act as a mediator in rescue operations of missionaries in Africa and Asia.
Extradited to the Vatican yesterday, she is accused of embezzlement and misappropriation after receiving half a million Euros from Becciu’s office to build “off books high-level intelligence networks.”
The allegations were first made by Italian TV show La Lene with information from an anonymous source. They presented documents showed Marogna had “a relationship of trust” with Becciu, and her Slovenian company Logsic Humanitarne Dejavnosti, DOO received 500,000 Euros from his office.
From December of 2018 to July of 2019, the Vatican Secretariat of State sent in total $580,000 to her shell company, headquartered at an empty office, as a “voluntary contribution for humanitarian mission.” Of the $580,000, about $230,000 were spent on luxury goods from brands like Chanel, Prada, and Valentino.
Marogna first met Becciu in 2015, when she sent him an email to discuss her analysis of security problems in the Vatican’s nunciatures and elsewhere. Marogna said after that she met with him and “a relationship of esteem was born that resulted in an operational collaboration.”
Marogna denies any wrongdoing, having said prior to her arrest that she is only criticized “because I do my job well and I always maintain discretion and confidentiality” insisting the “small change” spent on lavish trips and expensive gifts was “used to create cooperative relationships.”
Through his lawyer, Becciu has said he fears he was “conned” by Marogna and also denies any wrongdoing.