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Businessman found guilty in Parmalat case

The son of the founder of the Italian Parmalat dairy food empire has been convicted by a Swiss court of money laundering and financial mismanagement.

The Swiss Federal Criminal Court in Bellinzona on Monday ordered Stefano Tanzi to do 720 hours of community work for mismanagement of company money accrued over the purchase of a private jet for Parmalat executives.

An unidentified co-defendant received an 18-month suspended sentence for repeatedly assisting financial mismanagement.

The court also ordered the men to repay $1.75 million (SFr1.98 million) they had diverted to private Swiss bank accounts during the purchase of the jet.

Parmalat collapsed in 2003 with debts of €14 billion ($19.5 billion) and amid revelations that company funds had been siphoned off and deposited in accounts benefitting the family.

The court had to request special permission from the Italian legal authorities to bring Tanzi to Switzerland, since he is under house arrest and performing community service for his part in the collapse of his father Calisto Tanzi's company.

Investigations into the Parmalat affair are continuing in Switzerland, but so far more than SFr20 million has been seized as a result of the Swiss inquiries.


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