Calisto Tanzi

Calisto Tanzi

Italian businessman, fraudster
Date of Birth: 17.11.1938
Country: Italy

  1. Biography of Calisto Tanzi
  2. Early Life and Career
  3. The Parmalat Scandal
  4. Legal Troubles and Art Collection
  5. Recognition and Revocation

Biography of Calisto Tanzi

Calisto Tanzi, an Italian businessman and founder of the company 'Parmalat,' gained attention from the press after embezzling approximately 800 million euros from the company's funds. This severely impacted 'Parmalat,' which was forced to declare bankruptcy in 2003, as it was revealed that the company was missing a total of 14 billion euros. This bankruptcy remains the most significant in European history.

Calisto Tanzi

Early Life and Career

Calisto Tanzi was born in Collecchio, Parma, Emilia-Romagna, Italy. He founded 'Parmalat' in 1961 shortly after leaving college. The company began expanding internationally in 1997, but by 2001, it became clear that many of the new projects were leading to financial losses.

Calisto Tanzi

The Parmalat Scandal

In 2003, depositors started asking uncomfortable questions, particularly regarding a significant cash flow to a company based in the Cayman Islands. Enrico Bondi was brought in to assist the depositors, and it was officially announced that nearly 4 billion euros on the company's accounts never existed. Silvio Berlusconi took control of the investigation, and it was revealed that hundreds of thousands of depositors would never see their money again.

Legal Troubles and Art Collection

Calisto Tanzi, once considered a symbol of wealth and prosperity, was arrested just hours after the bankruptcy of 'Parmalat.' In 2008, Tanzi was sentenced to ten years in prison for fraud by the Milan court. He appealed the sentence but was ultimately given an 18-year prison term in 2010.

In December 2009, Italian authorities seized a collection of 19 art pieces belonging to Tanzi, which were estimated to be worth over 100 million euros. The collection included works by Picasso, Monet, and Van Gogh. Tanzi denies any involvement with the confiscated artworks.

Recognition and Revocation

In 1984, Calisto Tanzi was awarded the Italian Order of Merit for Labor, and in 1999, he received the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic. However, following the 'Parmalat' scandal and before the official verdict, Tanzi had both honors revoked by President Giorgio Napolitano for "unworthy behavior."