Martedì, 23 Ottobre 2018

Investigators open new branch to MPS probe, seize 6 million


Rome, March 5 - Italian police on Tuesday searched
the homes of lawyers Michele Briamonte and Lorenzo Gorgoni in
Lecce, Milan and Turin, and seized money and shares worth six
million euros as the probe into alleged fraud at troubled
Italian bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS) widened.
Briamonte and Gorgoni are MPS advisers, and are not
themselves under investigation, judicial sources said.
The police reportedly also carried out searches for
documents held by members of MPS's board of directors.
The operations regarded a new part of the probe, this time
concerning suspected insider trading after board decisions was
leaked to the media.
The news that the board on Thursday was taking legal action
against Deutsche Bank and Japanese bank Nomura was leaked before
the company filed suit in court on Friday, in violation of
Italian finance law.
MPS is the alleged victim in the new part of Siena probe,
judicial sources said.
Also on Tuesday, Rome Finance Police searched Briamonte's
The attorney, whose clients include the FIAT Group, works
at the Grande Stevens law firm.
Its founder, Franzo Grande Stevens, is a former consultant
to late FIAT president Gianni Agnelli and former president of
Juventus, the Fiat-owned Turin soccer club.
MPS, the country's third largest bank, was thrown into
crisis in January when it emerged that a shady series of
derivative and structured finance deals produced losses of 720
million euros.
It has since emerged that Siena prosecutors are conducting
a series of probes into alleged bribery, corruption, tax evasion
and other illicit operations at MPS, which were either related
to the bank's nine-billion-euro acquisition of rival Antonveneta
in 2008 or the period following the takeover.
Investigators suspect MPS, which is also the oldest bank in
the world still in business, struck a secret deal with Bank of
New York that allowed it to mislead authorities and smoothed
through its acquisition of Antonveneta, according to a February
report by the Finance Police.
Monte dei Paschi's purchase of Antonveneta in 2008
precipitated an eventual state bailout and prosecutors in its
home city of Siena are probing whether it deliberately overpaid
and whether bribery was involved.

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