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Financier Accused of Insider Trading

From Associated Press and Bloomberg News

Swiss financier Martin Ebner, whose business collapsed this year as stock markets tumbled, was charged Friday with insider trading in connection with the restructuring of Italian tire producer Pirelli.

Swiss prosecutor Marc Jean-Richard said the local district court had ruled Wednesday that the case could proceed to court.

The prosecutor said the charges dated to 1998 when Ebner allegedly received insider information from the Pirelli management about the company’s planned restructuring and share buyback.

Ebner said the charges were unfounded. “I am bewildered and I don’t understand the indictment,” he said in statement. He said he was convinced the evidence would show he followed the law.

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Ebner became one of Switzerland’s wealthiest men by buying large stakes in well-established companies and then forcing through management overhauls. But Ebner is now trying to save the remnants of his empire.

Ebner has seen the value of his holdings in Credit Suisse Group, ABB and Pirelli tumble as markets fell during the last 2 1/2 years. He has stepped down from the boards of four firms this year as his holdings declined in value.


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