At the maxi-trial that will be educated on the case of diamonds sold from 2012 to 2016 through banking channels as an investment (at prices up to 80% above the market) for an estimated value of 1.4 billion euros, it will not be easy to take part. However, there are other parallel ways, such as the bankruptcy of Idb, one of the companies involved.
The Milan Public Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of the public prosecutor, Grazia Colacicco, has requested, in recent days, the indictment of 105 people and five companies, including four banks, in the proceeding that had led to the preventive seizure for 700 million EUR. The investigations were carried out by the Economic and Financial Police Unit of the Gdf of Milan.
According to Anna D’Antuono, a lawyer for ADUC, an association for the protection of consumers, it is not possible to access the criminal field “for those who have entered into settlement agreements, therefore all Intesa Sanpaolo customers (who, moreover, have negotiated), Mps and Unicredit ( who have compensated in full) and also the many customers of Banco Bpm who have been compensated, albeit not entirely. The same goes for the smaller banks “.
In practice, only those who have not moved against the bank to date can be constituted, “if they are large institutions, a complaint is sufficient to obtain the settlement offer”, explains the lawyer, “or whoever rejected the offer, even if in the meantime it has started the civil suit for the compensation of the damage “.
However, D’Antuono recalls, “it is worth taking a civil action in the bankruptcy of Idb, already authorized by the presiding judge, especially for Banco Bpm customers, who received at most 60% of the value originally invested and have kept the stone. Now they have the possibility of obtaining 15% by way of settlement, or what is foreseen by the bankruptcy trustee of Idb. Our lawyers of the association have already done so, the latecomers can slip in and accept “.
Since the passive status was approved on November 13, 2020, you have until December 13 to enter, “and a deadline not to be skipped, because otherwise the delay must be justified and the request may not be easy given the media coverage of the case” explains D’Antuono. Between ascertained and to be ascertained, the curator estimates 30 million active and 90 passive, to date.
The Aduc lawyer also warns that there are “recent rulings in favor of Banco Bpm, issued by the Court of Milan and Venice where customers have lost and have been forced to pay the costs, ranging from 4,000 to 8,000 euros”. This is because it is not always easy to prove that the bank was selling stones as a form of investment. This is why Aduc advises, given that the transactions proposed by the judges are “exactly the same as those granted to all, to avoid the lawsuit and immediately accept the taxes up to investments of 20,000 / 25,000 euros”.
Customers who bought diamonds from Banca Aletti (later acquired by Banco Bpm, a group born in 2017, following the merger between Banco Popolare and Bpm) are in a better situation, “because in a brochure they presented stones as an investment complete with graphs and comparisons with inflation. The same brochure that the former Banco Bpm managers intercepted and complained about precisely because it was overwhelming proof of an investment offer and not just diamonds “, he explains the lawyer. These clients can follow the path of the investment proposal without a prospectus, therefore, “with excellent opportunities in the classroom”, concludes the lawyer.
As for the criminal trial, there are 575 people who will be able to ask to be a civil party and participate in the trial, that is, customers of banks who believe they have been scammed. The crimes hypothesized, for various reasons, are fraud, self-laundering, money laundering, corruption between individuals, which the prosecutor has quantified at approximately 500 million euros, 314 of which are borne by the intermediaries of precious stones, International Diamond Business Spa (in bankruptcy) and Diamond Private Investment Spa (in liquidation).
The defendants are executives, former executives, officers and former officials of the banks and two diamond brokers. The institutions involved are Banco Bpm, which together with one of its former executives will also have to answer for obstacles to the supervisory authority, the subsidiary Banca Aletti, Unicredit, Mps and Idb. Intesa Sanpaolo and Dpi instead requested a plea bargain, already obtaining the favorable opinion of the prosecutor. (All rights reserved)

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