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FBI searches home, offices of Robotech producer/writer, Harmony Gold founder

posted on 2006-12-02 12:51 EST
Frank Agrama Under Inviestigation for Criminal Fraud

According to reports this week in the Los Angeles Times, Variety, and Forbes, the FBI searched the home and offices of Frank Agrama, the founder of Harmony Gold USA and the producer of Robotech dubbed anime series. The FBI was executing a search warrant at the request of Italian authorities. A court in Milan began a criminal fraud trial last week against Agrama and 11 other individuals, including former Italian prime minister and media mogul Silvio Berlusconi.

Agrama is the producer of Robotech and all its sequel attempts, and he remains the chairman and CEO of Harmony Gold USA. Harmony Gold USA also credits Agrama as one of two screenplay writers of the upcoming Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles sequel.

However the investigation is not related to Robotech, but rather numerous Paramount properties that Agrama resold to Berlusconi's media companies. Agrama acted as a middle man, reselling Paramount properties to Berlusconi's companies for broadcast in Italy. The Italian authorities are investigating allegations that Agrama sold the properties to Berlusconi's companies at inflated prices and then provided un-taxed kickbacks.

Italian authorities requested that the FBI search Agrama's home and offices for documentation of financial transactions related to the Paramount properties.

Agrama is not currently being charged with any crimes in the United States.

Berlusconi, who is Italy's richest man, with assets of approximately US$11 billion, was defeated in elections in April 2006 but remains Italy's longest-serving postwar leader having served as prime minister from 1994 to 1995 (9 months) and again from 2001 to 2006.

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