The man behind what was in 2003 Europe’s biggest ever corporate bankruptcy, Calisto Tanzi, has been jailed for 18 years by an Italian court.
Tanzi was the founder of dairy giant Parmalat, which when it folded had a 14 billion euro hole in its accounts. Its failure wiped out the savings of 135,000 small investors in an affair dubbed “Europe’s Enron”.
The 72-year old is expected to appeal, a process that could take years in Italy’s slow-moving legal system. He was found guilty of fraudulent accounting and criminal conspiracy, and the prosecution had been demanding a jail term of 20 years.
Tanzi has already been found guilty, confirmed on appeal, of share price manipulation, and sentenced to 10 years, but because of his age has so far only served nine months behind bars.