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A massive financial scandal involving Italy's largest food company Parmalat underscored the fact that corporate fraud was not just an American problem. With the disappearance of about $10 billion in declared assets, the scandal was one of the largest in corporate history.
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Parmalat collapsed in December 2003 under 14 billion euros ($27 billion) of debt, after uncovering a 4 billion euro hole in its accounts. Some dubbed the episode 'Europe's Enron'. It is currently estimated that at least $17 billion of Parmalat funds have simply disappeared and cannot be accounted for.