MILAN, Italy, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) -- A Milan court on Wednesday sentenced four international banks to a one-million-euro (1.3 million U.S. dollars) fine each for their role in a fraud case involving the sale of derivatives to the government of the Italian northern city.
Deutsche Bank, UBS AG, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Depfa Bank Plc. were fined for defrauding the Milan municipality by hiding how much they made on the sale of bonds worth 1.69 billion euros between 2005 and 2007.
The four firms, which had denied any wrongdoing, were convicted for charging over 100 million euros in fees for arranging the derivatives that adjusted the payments.
The judge in Milan also ordered that 88 million euros of assets be seized from the banks and sentenced nine officials to suspended jail sentences of as long as 8 months and 15 days.
The banks said that they planned to appeal.
"In JPMorgan's view, the evidence at trial demonstrated conclusively that the individuals behaved entirely honestly and appropriately throughout," a statement from the bank said.
"It is both our and the individuals' intention to appeal, and we are confident that both JPM and the individuals will be fully vindicated following an appeal," it added.
Deutsche Bank also stated that it was convinced "the bank as well as its employees have acted properly," adding it planned to appeal the verdict as well.
Wednesday's ruling was defined by local prosecutors as a "historic judgment," being it the first time that the lack of transparency by banks in dealing with government entities was considered a crime.
The verdict came as international authorities investigate claims that several banks altered submissions to profit from bets on interest-rate derivatives.