Calisto Tanzi (Collecchio, November 17, 1938) is an Italian businessman notorious for embezzling an estimated eight-hundred million euros from Italian company Parmalat, founded by him, resulting in a great loss for the company. Tanzi was the founder of Parmalat and its CEO, at the time. Tanzi founded Parmalat in 1961, after dropping out of college. Parmalat collapsed in 2003 with a 14bn euro ($20bn; £13bn) hole in its accounts in what remains Europe's biggest bankruptcy.
Trials and imprisonment
In December 2008, Tanzi was convicted by a Milan court to 10 years in prison for fraud. Tanzi appealed the sentence but the appeals court upheld it in May 2010. The Corte di Cassazione reduced it to eight years and one month, after which Tanzi was imprisoned on May 5, 2011.
On December 9, 2010 a court in Parma found Tanzi guilty of fraudulent bankruptcy and criminal association and sentenced him to 18 years in prison. Tanzi appealed the sentence and the appeal trial started in December 2011 in Bologna.
On December 20, 2011 Tanzi was sentenced to a further nine years and two months for the Parmatour bankruptcy.
Parma AC bankruptcy
Tanzi was fined €10,000 and 6 months ban from football for false accounting of Parma A.C. in 2002–03 season.
In 2001, according to Forbes, he was listed as a billionaire with a net worth of roughly $1.3 billion.
In December 2009 the Italian authorities announced that they had seized nineteen works of art belonging to Tanzi which had been concealed at the houses of his friends. The works of art were said to be worth more than 100 million euros and included paintings and drawings by Picasso, Monet and Van Gogh. Tanzi had denied owning any hidden works of art. Parma Prosecutor Gerardo Laguardia, said that officials had acted quickly to seize the pictures after discovering that they had been offered for sale. The authorities said that Stefano Strini, Tanzi's son-in-law, was being investigated for allegedly handling the artwork.
Tanzi was appointed Cavaliere del Lavoro in 1984 and Cavaliere di Gran Croce Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana in 1999. Both honours, however, were withdrawn on grounds of ‘indignity‘ in the wake of the Parmalat affair - yet before the final bankruptcy conviction - by President Giorgio Napolitano.