The founder of the failed Italian dairy giant Parmalat has been jailed for ten years for rigging markets. Calisto Tanzi was sentenced at the end of a trial over the company’s 2003 crash, when the company was found to be 14 billion euros in debt. Other defendants, including former executives and bankers, were accused of misleading markets by covering up the parlous state of the firm’s finances. But while Tanzi was jailed, his co-accused were all acquitted.
The collapse of Parmalat wiped out the savings of thousands of small investors, and was seen as one of Europe’s biggest financial scandals. Tanzi was described in court as the man who covered up for everyone else. Parmalat was restructured and re-entered the Milan stock exchange in 2005. It is still Italy’s biggest listed food company.