According to Bloomberg News, during the Monte Paschi fraud trial Deutsche Bank was accused of running an international criminal enterprise.
Prosecutors used internal Deutsche Bank documents and emails to persuade a three-judge panel to consider whether there were additional, aggravating circumstances to the charges the German lender already faces related to derivatives transactions. The material included a London trader’s “well done!” message to a banker who is now on trial, evidence seen by Bloomberg shows.
Allowing prosecutors to argue that the alleged market manipulation crimes were committed by an organization operating in several countries could lead to higher penalties if they win a conviction. Giuseppe Iannaccone, a lawyer for Deutsche Bank and some of the defendants, sought to block the move at Tuesday’s hearing, saying there wasn’t a clear connection between the original charge of market manipulation and the alleged aggravating circumstances.
“The trial for Deutsche Bank managers becomes more problematic after the judge’s decision,” said Giampiero Biancolella, an attorney specializing in financial crime who isn’t involved in the case. “If proven, the aggravating circumstance may increase the eventual jail sentence for the market manipulation to a maximum of nine years.”
The German bank and Nomura Holdings Inc. went on trial in Milan in December, accused of colluding with Monte Paschi to cover up losses that almost toppled the Italian lender before its current battle for survival. Thirteen former managers of Deutsche Bank, Nomura and Monte Paschi were charged for alleged false accounting and market manipulation.