Italy Fights Fraud – Food Conglomerate Founder Given 18-Year Jail Term
The founder and former chief executive of Italian food conglomerate Parmalat has been sentenced to 18 years in jail for his role in a fraud at the firm.
Calisto Tanzi was convicted of criminal association and fraudulent bankruptcy.
“These people have caused much pain and despair to many people. And it’s right for them to pay for it.”
A court also ordered former Parmalat executives to pay the firm 2bn euros and reimburse thousands of defrauded investors.
Parmalat collapsed in 2003 with a 14bn-euro hole in its accounts in what was Europe’s biggest bankruptcy.
Some 135,000 investors lost the money they had invested in Parmalat’s corporate bonds, and about 30,000 of them were listed as complainants in the case.
They are expected to share compensation worth an estimated 30m euros, as ordered by the court.
A representative of the investors told Italian television: “I believe [this sentence] is right, since these people have caused much pain and despair to many people. And it’s right for them to pay for it.”
The judge in the city of Parma, from where the company gets its name, also sentenced the company’s former financial director Fausto Tonna to 14 years in prison.