The Cable

(Reuters) Italian prosecutors have decided to take Morgan Stanley (MS.N) to court over allegations that the U.S. bank caused 2.7 billion euros ($3.1 billion) in losses to the state in relation to derivative transactions, a source familiar with the matter said.

The Corte dei Conti, which rules on abuses of public funds, is bringing the case against Morgan Stanley on behalf of Italy's taxpayers. Its prosecutors made their decision after an investigation into derivatives contracts they say were drawn up by Morgan Stanley (MS.N) and Italian officials, which caused losses to the state.

In going to trial, the prosecutors believe there is a case to answer. The hearings are expected to begin next April, the source said. If the allegations are proven, a judge may order Morgan Stanley to pay compensation to the Italian government.

"The investigation phase has ended and the court will hear the damages claims," the source said, seeking anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly on the decision.

Morgan Stanley declined to comment.

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