The Lombardy region ordered 75,000 surgical gowns and 7,000 sanitising kits from the company in a contract worth about €500,000 in April.
The company later decided to donate the first batch of 50,000 gowns, instead of taking money.
Mr Fontana then ordered a bank transfer of €250,000 from his private account in Switzerland to his brother-in-law. The payment was blocked by one of the banks, which notified financial police.
Mr Pensa said Mr Fontana wanted to compensate his brother-in-law for the loss of profit he suffered by converting the purchase into a donation.
About half of Italy’s 35,000 coronavirus deaths have been in Lombardy, Italy’s northern industrial and financial heartland.