Telekom Austria’s Former CFO Colombo in Money Laundering Probe

Stefano Colombo, a former chief financial officer at Telekom Austria AG, is being investigated by Austrian prosecutors on suspicion of money laundering after Deutsche Bank AG reported him to the authorities.

The lender alerted investigators in October 2012 after Colombo put a total of 1.18 million euros ($1.53 million) in cash in his account, Format magazine reported today, citing a statement by Deutsche Bank to the police. The payments were made in several parts between 2005 and 2007, according to the magazine.

Kurt Kadavy, Colombo’s lawyer, said the money in question is the “private wealth of Colombo’s family” and not connected to money laundering. He confirmed Colombo had been reported to the authorities.

Nina Bussek, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office, confirmed the investigation was taking place and declined to give further details.

The report comes two months after Colombo and Rudolf Fischer, another former Telekom Austria board member, were sentenced to prison for manipulating the company’s shares to trigger bonuses for themselves and other employees. Both have appealed the ruling. It was the first trial to result from multiple corruption probes into the company.

Prosecutors don’t rule out Colombo’s cash being connected to Telekom Austria’s takeover of Bulgaria’s Mobiltel in 2005, Format magazine said. The deal is being investigated because of payments the former owners made to Austrian lobbyists. Kadavy said the cash was unconnected to Mobiltel.

Christian Streckert, a spokesman for Deutsche Bank, declined to comment.

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