Police in Sicily seize property of businessman linked to Mafia, including cancer clinic

ROME (AP) — Police in Sicily say they've hit at the heart of the financial empire of a convicted Mafia associate, seizing euro800 million (more than $1 billion) in property and businesses, including a clinic for cancer patients and a local soccer team.

The businesses included eight construction companies. Local health mogul Michele Aiello, 53, was convicted of Mafia association, corruption and fraud and sentenced to 15 1/2 years in prison.

Carabinieri police said Saturday that Aiello had close links to Bernardo Provenzano, the former No. 1 boss of Cosa Nostra, who was captured near Corleone in 2006.

Prosecutors insist the state go after mobsters' wealth as well as the mobsters. Aiello's seized property will be given to anti-Mafia and other community groups for use.