Eversheds’ Italy chief cleared of fraud charges

Eversheds’ Italian managing partner Riccardo Bianchini Riccardi was yesterday (4 July) acquitted of all charges over the bankruptcy of Italian agricultural company Cirio.

Along with 40 other defendants, including Cirio’s chief executive Sergio Cragnotti, Bianchini Riccardi faced eight years in prison over the charges of fraud, fraudulent bankruptcy and forgery (7 March 2011).

Cirio went bankrupt in 2003 with over €1bn of outstanding debt. Bianchini Riccardi was a director of the company and sat on several Cirio boards.

A Rome court sentenced Cragnotti to nine years in prison over the bankruptcy and also jailed another 34 people, but found Bianchini Riccardi innocent.

A spokesperson for Eversheds said the firm was pleased at the acquittal, adding: “It’s been a challenging time for him personally and we’re pleased that Riccardo can now put this trial behind him and look to the future.”