(Adds statement from JPMorgan)
PARMA, Italy Dec 20 An Italian court acquitted
four former JPMorgan executives on Tuesday of
accusations of fraudulent bankruptcy over the U.S. bank's role
in the 2003 collapse of dairy company Parmalat, a
judicial source said.
A judge in the northern Italian town of Parma, where the
Parmalat is headquartered, ruled in favour of a request from
prosecutors to acquit JPMorgan's former Italy head Federico
Imbert, his deputy Gabriele Schiavi as well as top executives
Alessandro Mitrovich and Alessandro Rombelli.
"JPMorgan has supported its former employees throughout the
process and is pleased that this matter is finally closed," the
U.S. bank said in a statement.
Parmalat collapsed at the end of 2003 with a 14 billion euro
($14.5 billion) hole in its accounts. The crisis erupted after
the company said a bank account of a Cayman Islands subsidiary
did not hold 4 billion euros as previously believed.
The admission forced management to seek bankruptcy
protection and triggered a fraud investigation.
The former JPMorgan executives had been accused of hastening
the bankruptcy of Parmalat by helping the company issue bonds
when it was already facing financial problems.
($1 = 0.9660 euros)
(Reporting by Valentina Accardo; writing by Valentina Za;
editing by David Clarke)