Florio Fiorini, Giancarlo Parretti’s partner in the ill-fated acquisition of MGM, has been arrested on fraud charges in Switzerland stemming from the bankruptcy of Geneva-based holding company Sasea. Sources at Sasea confirm the arrest, but maintain that Fiorini is simply being held for 72 hours for questioning as a result of an unsettled dispute with a Swiss-Italian creditor, and that the company’s complete–and extremely complicated–financial records have been subpoenaed by the court.
Fiorini was forced to declare bankruptcy when he failed to reach an agreement with creditors (primarily Credit Lyonnais) that financed Sasea’s failed takeover attempt of MGM.
Swiss judge Jean Louis Crochet ordered Fiorini’s arrest last Thursday when the financier failed to submit documents requested by the judge relating to Fiorini’s personal property in Switzerland and other countries, following a lawsuit against Fiorini and Sasea brought by a small creditor two years ago.
It’s still unclear what effect the arrest will have on Sasea’s bankruptcy filing. Prior to Fiorini’s arrest, a final decision was to be handed down next Feb. 28. At its peak, the Sasea holding company owned some 30 other companies, with interests spanning petroleum, real estate and insurance.