UPDATE 1-Banned hedge fund manager Micalizzi arrested in Italy -prosecutors
(adds details from arrest warrant)
MILAN May 21 (Reuters) - Italian police have arrested a former university lecturer and ex-hedge fund manager who was fined 3 million pounds ($5.1 million) in 2012 for concealing massive losses to investors, Milan prosecutors said on Wednesday.
In a statement, prosecutors said they had also issued arrest warrants for 14 associates of Alberto Micalizzi, who has been dubbed by the Italian press as the Italian equivalent to U.S. fraudster Bernie Madoff.
In a 168-page arrest warrant seen by Reuters, prosecutors allege that Micalizzi was the head of two parallel criminal rings that carried out sophisticated fraud involving forgery of financial documents against a range of companies.
The companies targeted by Micalizzi and his network include gas operator Snam, Pirelli, JP Morgan , UBI Banca and UBS Monaco.
Fraudulent acts continued well after Britain's Financial Services Authority banned Micalizzi in May 2012 saying he was not "fit and proper" to perform any role in regulated financial services.
Micalizzi was the chief executive of the now defunct London-based Dynamic Decisions Capital Management fund. The fund, which had mainly invested in fake bonds, was liquidated after racking up losses amounting to more than 85 percent of its value.
For a special report on Micalizzi's bond scheme
The second line of fraudulent activities highlighted by prosecutors in the arrest warrant involved the alleged issuing of forged bank guarantees aimed at getting financing for high-risk investments.
In one example mentioned in the arrest warrant, some of Micalizzi's associates were able to obtain in November 2011 financing worth 19 million euro euros from JP Morgan's Milan subsidiary thanks to bank guarantees forged in the name of BNP Paribas' Italian unit BNL, and other forged documents
These funds were quickly revoked after the internal compliance of JP Morgan decided to carry out a thorough check and found out the documents were false. JP Morgan formally denounced the fraud to Milan magistrates on Jan. 23, 2012.
A spokesman for Snam, which investigators say lost 30 million euros in the fraud, told Reuters that the company had found out that it had been given false financial guarantees when it carried out checks in October 2012.
The other companies mentioned in the arrest warrant declined to comment.
Micalizzi has taught finance at Milan's prestigious Bocconi University.
In the arrest warrant, prosecutors said the Italian financier used his academic title to get access to financial circles in the country.
A spokeswoman for Bocconi University said Micalizzi, a researcher who has taught corporate finance, had stopped teaching in 2011. In 2013, the university suspended him from all academic duties and stopped paying his salary.
It was not possible to contact Micalizzi for comment.
($1 = 0.5935 British Pounds)