Press review
14 April 2023

Press review – Week of 10 April 2023

In this week's press review, Anticor accuses the former president of EDF of illegal interest taking, a Swiss banker pleads guilty to tax fraud in the United States, and a former minister appears in court for embezzlement of public funds. Vivendi Group is forced to sell Gala magazine to comply with European competition rules. The Ministry of Economy plans a reform of the customs procedure for the summer, and a vast investigation leads to the closure of a website selling private information on the darknet.


Anticor files an alert targeting the former president of EDF for illegal interest in the renationalisation

On 27 October 2022, the former president of EDF, Jean-Bernard Lévy, participated in the vote to renationalise the company while he was a censor on the board of Société Générale, one of the banks involved in the State’s offer. The anti-corruption association Anticor reported these facts to the Paris public prosecutor’s office on 21 March 2023, suspecting illegal interest. > Read article


A Swiss executive pleads guilty to conspiracy to defraud the US Internal Revenue Service

Daniel Wälchi, board member of the Swiss bank Privatbank IHAG’s holding company, pleaded guilty to helping Americans conceal 60 million dollars in in Swiss bank accounts between 2009 and 2014 in order to evade the IRS, the US tax regulator. The case is still pending before the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) and an IRS-Criminal Investigation is still underway. > Read article


Marseille: Free meal and dry cleaning, the former minister Hubert Falco accuses of embezzlement of public funds

Hubert Falco, mayor of Toulon and former minister, deputy and senator, appeared 11 April 2023 before the criminal court of Marseille in a case of embezzlement of public funds. Indeed, he is alleged to have benefited from free meals at the Var departmental council between 2015 and 2018, even though he had not been a member since 2002, and to have personally benefited from a contract between the departmental council and a laundry company to wash his personal laundry. > Read article


#Competition law: The Vivendi group will have to offer to sell “Gala” to comply with European competition rules

Vivendi Group announced that it has been forced to sell Gala magazine, following pressure from the European Commission under antitrust rules. Indeed, it appears that the Gala magazine would be in direct competition on the celebrity press market with Paris Match magazine, owned by Lagardère Group, in which Vivendi Group should hold 57% of the capital after authorization from the European Commission to come. > Read article


Customs control: a historic reform to protect individual freedoms

Following the censure by the Conseil constitutionnel of an article allowing customs officers the search of vehicles and persons carrying goods, the French legislative arsenal had to be updated. The Ministry of the Economy is planning a reform for July, which will include the duty for customs officers to inform the public prosecutor’s office in advance or to be able to justify plausible reasons for suspecting an offence before carrying out searches outside a defined area (40km around the borders). > Read article


Cybercrime: three arrests in France after the dismantling of a key Darknet website

A transnational police operation targeting a darknet website, Genesis Market, that sold stolen personal data, including access to streaming platforms, was carried out by seventeen countries, with the Dutch authorities and the FBI leading the investigation. This operation led to numerous arrests, searches and seizure of the website. > Read article

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