Parmalat can pursue claims against US bank

A US federal judge has allowed Parmalat’s administrator, Enrico Bondi, to
proceed with his $10bn lawsuit against Bank of America, but dismissed 10 of the
12 counts brought on behalf of the dairy company.

Judge Lewis A Kaplan of Federal District Court in Manhattan did not allow
claims including fraud, negligence and theft of corporate assets, but let stand
those of breach of fiduciary duty and conspiracy. He will let Bondi re-plead
claims of racketeering.

Bondi has also sued Citigroup and former Parmalat auditors Deloitte &
Touche and Grant Thornton International.

He claims Bank of America helped devise various, mostly off-balance-sheet
schemes that were ‘deliberately designed to conceal Parmalat’s insolvency’. He
said the bank collected fees it did not deserve by making Parmalat appear
healthier than it was.

In July Judge Kaplan ruled that Bondi could proceed with lawsuits against the
two Parmalat auditors, and in April, a New Jersey state appeals court allowed
his lawsuit against Citigroup to continue.

According to the New York Times, a Bank of America spokeswoman,
Rhiannedd Brooke, said the bank welcomed the decision and would defend itself
vigorously against the remaining claims. She claimed the bank had more than
$462m of financial exposure to Parmalat.

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