Laura Amoretti took on the role after arrests of five former and current executives in July amid probe into misuse of COVID relief funds
Lastminute.com confirms interim chief is under investigation by Swiss police
The interim boss of lastminute.com is under investigation as part of a probe by Swiss police into alleged Covid loan fraud.
The European OTA confirmed that interim chief executive Laura Amoretti was part of an ongoing investigation.
Amoretti, previously chief customer officer, assumed the role of temporary chief executive after the arrests.
Police in the Swiss region of Ticino are investigating accusations of misuse of Covid recovery funds.
In a statement on Thursday, the company said: “In connection with the ongoing investigation of the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the canton of Ticino, lastminute.com NV informs that a number of further former and current employees of the company, including the company’s interim CEO Laura Amoretti, have now the status of accused persons in the matter under preliminary investigation.
“The board has expressed its full confidence in Laura Amoretti to continue leading the company in this challenging period.”
It confirmed earlier in the month that Cannavale and chief operating officer Andrea Bertoli would remain on remand until October 18.
The company said on September 12: “The investigation is looking at possible discrepancies between the number of hours worked by the approx. 500 employees based in Chiasso, Switzerland, and those reported to the authorities during the period when the three legal entities were receiving short-time allowances.
“The investigation is against individuals and not the company or its subsidiaries. The company is co-operating with the prosecutor while acting according to its duty of care to its employees.”
It said the business was in the “strong and experienced hands of interim CEO Laura Amoretti who has been with the company for several years and has been the group’s chief customer officer since 2019”.
Lastminute.com reported reported first half earnings [ebitda] of €24.5 million in August on revenues of €159.8 million, with the second quarter of 2022 showing a strong rebound after a weak start to the year due to the Omicron variant.
A shareholders meeting originally set for September 2 was cancelled.
The company is listed on the Swiss stock exchange and has 1,500 staff across offices worldwide.
Its brands include Volagratis, Rumbo, weg.de, Bravofly, Jetcost and Hotelscan.