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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  London Stock Exchange  >  BT Group plc    BT.A   GB0030913577

BT GROUP PLC

(BT.A)
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BT : Italy judge seeks trial for BT Italy, former executives in fraud case

11/10/2020 | 09:03am EST

(Corrects first paragraph of NOV. 10 story to "20 defendants including two" from "21 defendants including three". Adds paragraph 10 to show Luis Alvarez was acquitted, not sent to trial)

MILAN, Nov 10 (Reuters) - A judge in Milan on Tuesday decided there were grounds for a trial of the Italian unit of British Telecom and 20 defendants, including two former senior BT executives, in an accounting scandal case, judicial and legal sources said.

The trial has been set for Jan. 26, 2021 before the Milan court, the sources said. All the defendants were indicted for alleged false accounting committed in 2015 and 2016.

All the defendants have always denied any wrongdoing.

In a written response to a Reuters' request for comment, British Telecom said: "We are disappointed. We remain confident in our defence."

In the past, the company has stated that it was cooperating with Italy's judicial authorities and believed it was the "injured party" in any accounting irregularities in Italy.

The scandal required the company to take a 530-million-pound charge in its accounts in 2017.

Milan prosecutors have alleged that a network of BT Italy employees inflated revenues, faked contract renewals and invoices and invented bogus supplier transactions in order to disguise the unit's true financial performance.

Of 23 individuals originally accused, a former manager of BT Italy has already been sentenced to one year's imprisonment in a fast-track trial, while the former CEO of the business died last year.

Charges relating to 2013 and 2014 financial statements were annulled due to the statute of limitations which wipes out trials if a verdict is not reached within a set time frame.

Luis Alvarez, former chief executive of BT Global Services, was therefore acquitted by statute of limitations because the charge against him referred to 2013

Among the defendants the judge sent to trial are Richard Cameron, former chief financial officer of BT Global Services, and Corrado Sciolla, formerly BT's head of continental Europe. They are alleged to have been complicit in false accounting.

Roberto Pisano, a lawyer for Cameron told Reuters: "Mr Cameron is extremely disappointed that the case against him is proceeding. He is in no doubt that he acted properly and we are very confident that at trial he will be cleared of any allegation of wrongdoing."

Sciolla lawyer has not yet responded to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Emilio Parodi, editing by Gavin Jones and Jane Merriman)


© Reuters 2020
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Sales 2021 21 426 M 29 328 M 29 328 M
Net income 2021 1 479 M 2 025 M 2 025 M
Net Debt 2021 18 235 M 24 960 M 24 960 M
P/E ratio 2021 9,01x
Yield 2021 -
Capitalization 13 100 M 17 953 M 17 932 M
EV / Sales 2021 1,46x
EV / Sales 2022 1,49x
Nbr of Employees 105 300
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Philip Eric Rene Jansen Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director
Jan Petrus du Plessis Chairman
Simon Jonathan Lowth Chief Financial Officer & Executive Officer
Howard Watson Chief Technology & Information Officer
Iain C. Conn Senior Independent Director
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