Italian prosecutors probe 11 people in suspected Monte Paschi fraud

SIENA, Italy Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:07am EST

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SIENA, Italy Feb 24 (Reuters) - Italian prosecutors are investigating 11 people over a suspected fraud they say cost the country's third-biggest lender, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena , 90 million euros ($123.7 million) judicial sources said on Monday.

Tax police were searching premises in several cities on Monday, the sources said.

The probe revolves around alleged dealings by the former chief of the bank's financial department, Gian Luca Baldassarri, and his aides. The allegations were made in a prosecution document seen by Reuters last year.

According to one judicial source, the people under investigation included Baldassarri and a current employee of the bank. Monte dei Paschi and a lawyer for Baldassarri had no comment.

It was not immediately clear who the other people being investigated were.

($1 = 0.7275 euros) (Reporting by Silvia Ognibene; Writing by Silvia Aloisi; Editing by Erica Billingham)

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