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Leonardo: foreclosed on a fifth of Profumo's salary

Bari court ruled on Divania crash and sentenced it to a precautionary patrimonial measure

Another rather heavy tile falls on the head of Alessandro Profumo, CEO of Leonardo. After being sentenced to six years in prison for rigging and false corporate communications relating to the line of inquiry into Monte Paschi, the Bari court now applies the precautionary measure of the attachment of a fifth of his salary. The facts concern the Divania crash, a company from Modugno (Bari) that went bankrupt due to some risky practices implemented by Unicredit, at the time led by Profumo (later by Federico Ghizzoni, who also holds a precautionary measure of the same type). Now, an article from "L'Espresso" makes known the judicial measure that hit fourteen managers who led Unicredit in the boom years of derivatives, that is, of those high-risk financial products that were sold by the most important Italian and foreign banks. The Divania crash concerns one of the most serious cases. The owner of this Apulian industry, ruined by derivatives, reacted with a criminal complaint. We are talking about an industrialist strangled by derivatives, who secretly video-recorded his meetings with Unicredit officials who made him sign very high-risk financial contracts. Profumo led Unicredit from 1998 to 2010, Ghizzoni between 2010 and 2016. The disputed facts date back to the period between 2000 and 2005. “They ruined me. I had to close the company and lay off all my 430 workers", denounced at the time Francesco Saverio Parisi, owner of Divania, a sofa factory that, before 2003, was one of the first exporting industries in Puglia with 65 million euros of turnover, he also sold his leather sofas abroad, especially in the United States, and had never had cash flow problems. “It took me a year to understand how bankers destroyed my business. Now I have reported them, for fraud and usury, and I have sued them before the civil court. Like all derivative victims, I can seem like David defying Goliath. But instead of the sling I have the camera”, Parisi emphasized.

Last February the judge of the preliminary hearing indicted the Unicredit executives in office at the time of the events, including the former CEO Federico Ghizzoni and his predecessor Alessandro Profumo. The bankers thus found themselves accused of fraudulent bankruptcy before the court of Bari, where Divania was based. The bankruptcy charge, "L'Espresso" writes it, is linked to the discovery that the bank allegedly “manipulated and falsified” contracts, making up the dates and contents of many documents whose originals have disappeared. According to the judges, the owner of Divania, Parisi, would have been "deceived" about the structure of the derivatives that were presented to him as "hedging instruments against the dollar exchange risks", while in reality they were complicated and risky "combinations of option contracts". In this way, their nature as dangerous financial bets was concealed. Two months ago, the owner of the damaged company, Parisi, who was a civil party, asked for the preservation of the assets of the defendants to secure future compensation in the event of conviction of the bankers. And now the second criminal section of the Bari court (president Mascolo, side judges Moretti and Mastromatteo) accepts the request for a precautionary measure of a patrimonial type. In the indictment decree, Profumo is called into question as former CEO of Unicredit and President of the subsidiary UBM: according to the accusation, "L'Espresso" continues, it was he who "elaborated, directed and coordinated the strategies for the marketing of derivatives to business customers of the bank, including Divania SpA". The accusation is also based on the results of an inspection by Consob, which in 2007 had fined the entire UniCredit top precisely for its derivatives business, closed with serious losses for a total of 12,700 Italian companies. In the provision of the court of Bari in the name of the 14 bankers, of which "L'Espresso" has obtained a copy, it is stated that the court "orders the conservation seizure of the immovable property owned by the defendants", of the movable property and of the postal or bank current accounts in the name to the same, as well as any securities and financial instruments deposits, up to the total amount of 40 million euros. Since the properties owned by the accused do not appear sufficient, the court "orders the preservation, to the extent of one fifth, of the emoluments deriving from wages or pensions that will be collected during the whole process by the defendants themselves". This is why Leonardo's CEO is seized a fifth of his salary, the maximum limit allowed by law: Profumo, in fact, "L'Espresso" writes it, "is not the owner of any property, has nothing in his name, not even a first home or a garage for cars".

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency