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Italian prosecutors investigate editor, ex-managers at financial paper-source

MILAN (Reuters) - The editor of Italy's biggest-selling financial daily Il Sole 24 Ore and two former top managers are being investigated by Milan prosecutors for allegedly issuing false corporate statements, a judicial source said on Friday.

Tax police searched the headquarters of the newspaper in Milan on Friday, the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media.

Another seven people, including former managers at the company, were also being investigated, some of them over allegations of embezzlement, the source said.

Il Sole 24 Ore issued a statement saying its "new management, engaged in the restructuring and relaunch of the company, reaffirm their intention to collaborate with the investigators to establish what happened".

Editor Roberto Napoletano did not respond to requests for comment made by Reuters by mobile phone messaging and an email.

The police declined to comment.

Italy's business lobby Confindustria, which controls loss-making Sole 24 Ore, said in a statement it would assess what actions to take to safeguard Sole's shareholders.

A copy of the search warrant seen by Reuters said prosecutors, who are also looking into allegations of false accounting at the group, were investigating whether the newspaper's digital sales data had been artificially inflated.

(Reporting by Manuela D'Alessandro; Writing by Stephen Jewkes; Editing by Silvia Aloisi and Mark Potter)