An Italian court Monday acquitted Citigroup (C), Bank of America (BAC), Deutsche Bank (DB), and Morgan Stanley (MS) from stock market manipulation charges related to the collapse of Italian food company Parmalat, reports the Wall Street Journal. The court cleared all four major banks from charges of failing to have the necessary procedures in place that could have prevented the alleged crimes that sunk the Italian conglomerate.
Parmalat, dubbed “Europe’s Enron”, filed for bankruptcy in December 2003 after it was revealed that papers detailing a 3.9 billion euro ($5.5 bln) bank account on the Cayman Islands were false, and that a decade-long fraud had left the dairy group saddled with $20 billion in debt. The savings of thousands of bondholders around the world were wiped out.
The Parmalat affair is considered as one of Europe’s biggest financial scandal.