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Colombian banker takes leave to fight fraud charges

Colombian banker takes leave to fight fraud charges

The head of Colombia's largest bank _ the country's only company listed on the New York Stock Exchange _ took a leave of absence Tuesday to dedicate himself to fighting a lawsuit in which he is accused of fraud.
The eight-member board of Bancolombia SA reiterated its support for Jorge Londono in an e-mailed statement and said the license will last for as long as the CEO needs. It appointed Jairo Burgos, who was until now the bank's vice president for human resources, as acting CEO.
Last week, the chief federal prosecutor of Colombia ordered the house arrest of Londono and the bank's vice president, Federico Ochoa, claiming they defrauded shareholders during the US$418 million (euros 321 million) acquisition of Banco de Colombia SA by Banco Industrial Colombiano, or BIC, in 1997. The merged bank was then renamed Bancolombia.
"The board is convinced that the process of acquisition of the Banco de Colombia by the BIC and the subsequent merger were carried out respecting the rules in force at the time, business ethics, and under the constant supervision and approval of the banking regulator and the Central Bank," the bank's board said.
The same leave of absence was granted to Ochoa.
BIC previously won an earlier lawsuit over the same issue three years ago, but the Constitutional Court ordered the case reopened last year after the Gilinski family, who formerly owned Banco de Colombia, appealed the first court decision.


Updated : 2021-10-26 09:18 GMT+08:00