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How it all went sour

A g l obal con s um e r b m n d i n t he pas t ye a r

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Unformatted text preview: a g l obal con s um e r b m n d. I n t he pas t ye a r , the s t o r y of P a r r n ala t ha s e m e r g e d in f it s a n d s t arts, as thr ee t ea m s o f fore n s i c a ccou n t ant s h av e co mb e d t i 1r o u g h t h e co mpa n y bo o k s and · d oze n s o f e x ec ut i v es- in c luding Tonn a , T anzi, V e r- rd ri s and D e l S ol d a to-h a ve m a d e de t a i l e d co n f es s i o n s to m ag i s tr a t es i n P a r ma a nd Mi- l a n . Us in g t h e i r tes t i mon i es a n d th o u sa n d s o f pa ges o f o ffi c i a l do cum en t s, i t ' s n ow p os- s i b l e t o p i ec e toge ther the k e y p a r t s of t i ,e af- fa i r. H e r e's t i , e i n s ide sto r y of h o w t h e Coca- Co l a o f mi l k ma n ag e d t o go s our. F o n W E LL O V ER A D E C A DE , F R O M A B OUT 1 9 90 t o 2 3, in vest i g a t o r s say , P ar m a l at balT a w e d mo n ey fr om glob a l b a n k s a nd j us- tif i e d t h o s e loa ns by in flatin g it s r e v e nu es thr o u g h fic titio u s sa les t o r e t a il e r s . In a sc h e me th a t a u U l O ri t ie s cha r ge w as devi se d an d exec u t e d b y Tanz i , t o p ma n agers, th e fi rm ' s o ut s id e l awye r, Gi a n Pa o l o Z ini , an d two o u t s i de a u d i to rs , Mau r izi o B i anc h i and Lore n z o P e nc a , i t w o u l d the n coo k i t s b o o k s s o m e m o r e t o m a ke t he de bt van i s h , b y t rans f e r ri n g it t o s h e l l comp a n i e s b as e d i n offs h ore t ax h ave ns. (Zini, Bi a n ch i a nd Pe n- ca d e n y a n y wrongdo in g . ) Wh e n t he h o l e gre w t oo l a r ge to hide , T anz i , T o n n a a nd the tw o a u c U to r s a l l ege dly c ame up with Pa r- m ala t 's most a u da c ious i n ve n t i o n: a bog u s m il k p r odu c e r i n S in gapo r e t h a t s upp ose d l y s u p p l i e d 30 , 000 t o n s o f n o n e x i s t e nt m i lk powde r t o a C ub a n im po r t er v i a Bon l a t , a Cayma n Isla n ds s u b s i c U ar y th a t h el d t h e fa k e Ba n k of Am e r i ca account . "W h a t str u c k a nd s ur p r i ses me is t h e s i mp l i c it y," says F ran cesco Gre co, the s en i or ma gistra t e in Mi l an on U, e cas e . "It was a l m os t ba n a l : ' So fa r , 29 p e ople have b ee n c h a r ge d in M il a n ; m o r e a r e ex p e cte d t o be c h a r ge d i n co min g w ee ks b y m a gistra t es in P a r ma. P a r rn a l a t ' s losses a r e now offic i a l l y put at €12 bi ll ion a nd its i nves t ors hav e l os t a n oth- e r €1 4 bil li on-t h o ugh t he co mp a n y's 33, 000 e mploye e s h av e eme r ge d re l a t i v e ly u n s c at h ed, as , the fir m co ntinues t o op e ra te w hil e i n b a nk r u p tc y . Mo s t o f t h e mo n ey th a t m ove d in. aroun d a nd o ut o f t h e co mpany h a s si nc e been t r a ce d , a lth o u g h the f in al d est i na- t io n o f s om e o f it i s s t i ll u nl m ow n ....
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