Grant Thornton faces ?5bn claim from Parmalat

Thornton International
faces a £5bn claim from food giant Parmalat which
accuses the firm of an ‘active role’ in ‘looting’ the company when its founder
and his chief financial officer attempted to conceal losses. Co-defendant
Deloitte, which took over the auditing of Parmalat’s main operation in 1999, has
already settled by paying £76m.

According to Financial Mail, Parmalat administrator Enrico Bondi
states in legal documents that the accountancy firm had an ‘active role’ in
‘looting’ the company. ‘Grant Thornton and Parmalat insiders hid losses and
diverted funds to themselves,’ the writ states.

Grant Thornton’s former Italian partners, Lorenzo Penca and Maurizio Bianchi,
are accused of being key players in the fraud. The Italian arm is no longer part
of the Grant Thornton ‘global alliance’ of partnerships and Grant Thiornton
International has claimed it can not be held responsible for the actions of its
Italian arm.

Parmalat alleges fake credit and loan notes were written and a web of fake
front companies created – many based in Grant Thornton offices around the world
and in some cases with its accountants acting as directors.

Further reading:

Professional indemnity: regulation -ready to take

Grant Thornton SpA chairman goes over Parmalat

story in the Financial Mail

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