Treasury issues €252,000 in direct orders to former Nexia BT partner

Anita Aloisio, until 2017 was one of four partners at the now-defunct Nexia BT audit firm, was awarded six direct orders by the government amounting to €252,000 in the past two years.

While her former partners, Brian Tonna, Karl Cini and Manuel Castagna, were arraigned in court last year over a raft of criminal activities, including money laundering and falsification of documents involving top government officials, their former partner was already acting as a government consultant on the introduction of a new accounting system, better known as the Corporate Financial Management Solution.

The finance ministry, through the treasury department, awarded Anita Aloisio two separate direct orders worth €86,000 on the implementation of the system, while another four direct orders were given to Alecta Advisors, worth another €166,000.

Research conducted by The Shift shows that Alecta Advisors is also owned by Aloisio and was founded only weeks after she left Nexia BT in 2017. These direct orders cover the two-year period between May 2020 and May 2022.

At the same time, the company’s administrator is Nicole Aloisio – a young speech-language pathologist.

Asked why Aloisio was given six separate direct orders, through different names and firms, instead of one contract as is usually the case, the treasury insisted that “the two (Aloisio and Alecta) are separate and distinct legal personalities” and that the contract awarded to Alecta Advisors involved company personnel being deployed to assist the treasury.

It is not known how many other employees are on the books of Alecta, apart from Anita and Nicole Aloisio.

The treasury has also avoided replying to The Shift on whether the government considered Aloisio’s background before selecting her, without any form of competition, to assist on a new financial management system.

It only said that “the service providers are fully-accredited professional persons who are carrying out their duties as contracted”.

Aloisio’s position as one of four partners at Nexia BT coincided with the period when the firm, relatively small until 2013, was given millions in direct orders by the government on projects ranging from the gas power plant to a study on public conveniences.

Court evidence during the compilation of evidence against her former Nexia BT partners revealed that, when Aloisio was still a partner, her firm was allegedly paying its employees in cash.

Nexia BT was the firm responsible for the opening of secret Panama companies for Keith Schembri, disgraced former minister Konrad Mizzi and for a still unknown beneficiary under the name of Egrant. The companies allegedly served to launder money deriving from corruption.

While at Nexia BT, Aloisio was also a common name on the list of selected board members and consultants for various State entities. She was also appointed chairperson of the cash-for-passport agency, known as the Malta Individual Investor Programme.

Nexia BT was one of the first Maltese firms to obtain a government licence to sell passports. One of the pending accusations against her former partner Brian Tonna concerns alleged kickbacks passed to Keith Schembri on commissions from passport sales.

Aloisio has not been charged with any wrongdoing at Nexia BT.

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3 months ago

No wonder then, Karl Cini can be seen daily walking his dog in Kappara without any hint of worry, as if there is no tomorrow. Where others with young families have to face a daily slog to earn money, Cini, Tonna and Castagna (who by the way is Cini’s neighbour) are still raking it in and don’t expect their present situation to change.

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