Mariella Burani: Walter and Giovanni Burani sentenced to six years

Walter Burani, chairman of Mariella Burani Fashion Group (MBFG), the former Italian affordable luxury goods company, and his son Giovanni, the group’s executive director, were sentenced by the court in Milan to six years in prison for aggravated fraudulent bankruptcy in the crash of MBFG, its controlling company Burani Private Holding and subsidiary Design & Licenses. The Cavriago group, in the Emilia-Romagna region, was founded in 1960 by Walter Burani with his wife, fashion designer Mariella.


The former Mariella Burani store in Milan
Walter and Giovanni Burani were also ordered to pay 13 million euros in summary damages to the administrators of the three group companies affected by the crash and two funds. Deputy public prosecutor Luigi Orsi referred in his indictment to “an incredible case of bankruptcy” carried out by means of “systemic fraud” between 2007 and 2009. During those three years, the founding chairman Walter Burani and his son Giovanni, who had been managing the group for the previous 15 years or so, set up a series of fraudulent deals for the purpose of inflating the MBFG balance sheets and supporting its share price on the stock exchange.

In addition to its women’s ready to wear line Marielle Burani, the Italian fashion company, which had been listed on the Milan stock exchange since 2000, owned a number of leather goods brands and a major portfolio of licenses. MBFG was transformed over the years into a company offering a vast array of fashion, leather goods and jewelry. Under the impact of the financial crisis, the group, which had strung together financial deals, acquisitions and other stock exchange listings, became mired in serious problems in 2009, with debt of 500 million euros. After declaring bankruptcy, the company was placed in liquidation in 2010.



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