Citicorp Following Attanasio Lead In Parmalat LitigationBy Francine • May 18th, 2008 • Category: Parmalat
Maybe I should have copyrighted the term “dupe” when it comes to playing dumb to get off the hook in these accounting fraud cases. Looks like Citicorp’s lawyers see a winner, too, in the strategy Mr. Attanasio used to get Mr. Stulac of Arthur Andersen off the hook in the Peregrine case.
They actually use the word, “Dupe” with reporters!
Maybe Grant Thornton in the Parmalat case?
Mr. Attanasio: Let me know if they call. I’ll take my commission in cash.
Parmalat’s CEO, Dr. Enrico Bondi, who is suing on behalf of Parmalat, claims Citi bankers were complicit in the company’s meltdown by helping Parmalat insiders loot the company and conceal off-balance-sheet debt. Bondi’s lawyer, Kenneth Chiate of Quinn Emanuel in L.A., said in his opening that the bankers were driven by “greed” and wanted to make “higher bonuses and higher salaries through making loans to a company” — i.e. Parmalat — “that they shouldn’t have been making.” Bondi is suing Citi for $2.2 billion.
But Citi’s lawyer — Paul Weiss’s Ted Wells — said in his opening that the bank lost more money than any other creditor as a result of the fraud committed by the allegedly corrupt insiders at Parmalat. “Citigroup was the biggest victim,” Wells said. “We were the biggest dupe. We were the biggest sucker and it was embarrassing.” Citi is seeking $699 million in counterclaims in the New Jersey case, which, reports Bray, is expected to last up to three months. Wells said the bank made only about $131 million in fees in about nine years of working with Parmalat. The bank has since recovered about $330 million it lost due to the fraud, Wells said.