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Italy shipping family: no role in Vatican scandal

ROME (AP) -- An Italian shipping family denies any role in an alleged money-smuggling plot involving a Vatican accountant. The d'Amico family says the priest who was jailed in the affair, Monsignor Nunzio Scarano, was their "spiritual" adviser.

A family lawyer, Vincenzo Cupri, spoke to reporters Wednesday as he left offices of Rome prosecutors who are investigating the alleged plot to spirit 20 million euros ($26 million) from Switzerland into Italy.

Scarano has been suspended by the Vatican from his accountant post. Prosecutors say they suspect the money belongs to the d'Amico family and was deposited in Switzerland to avoid Italian taxes.

Cupri told the AP that Scarano was a longtime family friend and a "spiritual father." He said the d'Amico family denies tax evasion accusations. Scarano denies wrongdoing.