Italian Police Arrest 4 In Holiday Extortion Case

Four alleged mafia gangsters have been arrested for forcing shop owners to buy poinsettias for as much as $140 each. Owners who refused to partake in the "Christmas special" would have their shops vandalized.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And today's last word in business is a Christmas con.

Just when we want to be thinking about generosity around the holidays, a story of extortion.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Police in Italy have arrested four alleged mafia gangsters for forcing shop owners to buy poinsettias for as much as $140 each. Owners who refused to partake in the Christmas special would have their shops vandalized.

GREENE: According to police, these alleged mafia guys were trying to raise money for the families of jailed gang members. Maybe next year they should try caroling instead.

That's the business news on MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

WERTHEIMER: And I'm Linda Wertheimer.

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