Two charged in connection with collapse of Parmalat
15 April 2008
BERN – Swiss prosecutors said Tuesday they have charged two people with fraud and money laundering in connection with the collapse of Italy’s Parmalat dairy empire.
The pair will have to stand trial at the Swiss federal criminal tribunal in Bellinzona, prosecutors said in a statement. They declined to name the accused or give their nationality, in line with strict Swiss privacy laws.
The charges are part of a wider money laundering investigation by Swiss prosecutors against 18 people linked to Parmalat’s EUR 14 billion bankruptcy in 2003.
Swiss authorities have asked Slovenia to extradite former Bank of America executive Luca Sala, who was detained in the former Yugoslav republic on 29 February on an international arrest warrant.
Parmalat shareholders claim Sala embezzled company funds via an account with the Swiss-based Graubuendner Kantonalbank. GBK last year settled a EUR 39.5 billion lawsuit against it with a EUR 21 million payment to Parmalat.
Some CHF 20 million (EUR 2.6 million) have been seized on Swiss and foreign bank accounts in connection with the investigation, prosecutors said.
Swiss authorities have also asked for legal assistance in the case from Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, France, Guernsey, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and the United States.
Meanwhile, Parmalat founder Calisto Tanzi and 23 others went on trial in Italy this week. They are charged with fraudulent bankruptcy and criminal association.
[AP / Expatica]