Press review
23 February 2024

Press review – Week of 19 February 2024

This week’s press review covers Donald Trump and his sons’ conviction for fraud in New York, the decision of Paris Court of Appeal’s decision on French jurisdiction regarding a dispute with a Belgian purchasing center, Bloomberg agency’s final conviction for relaying a fake press release, the indictment of several people in a multi-million social security contribution fraud case and the choice by the European Union of Frankfort to host the new Anti-Money Laundering Authority.

 

#White collar crime

Donald Trump ordered to pay 355 million euros and banned from running his businesses in New York for three years

Donald Trump long with two of his sons were sentenced on the 16th of February to a $355 million fine for a series of financial frauds within the Trump Organization. He was also banned from managing a company in the State of New York for three years. He and his ere accused of inflating the value of skyscrapers, luxury hotels, and golf courses during the 2010s to obtain more favorable loans and better insurance terms. The Attorney General celebrated this decision in a statement in which is said: “This is a tremendous victory for this state, this nation and for everyone who believes that we all must play by the same rules – even former presidents”. Donald Trump, who denounced the ruling as a “total sham” and an “election interference ploy”, confirmed that he would appeal the decision. > Read article

Five men indicted for social security contribution fraud in the construction industry in Nantes

Five individuals were indicted last week by the Prosecutor of Rennes last week or social security contribution fraud. These arrests followed a preliminary investigation opened in late May 2023by the prosecutor’s office of the specialized interregional jurisdiction of Rennes for covert work in an organized gang, aggravated money laundering, forgery, and use of forged documents as well as misuse of corporate assets. The accusations relate to having allowed, since 2017, several construction companies to evade social security charges, with the damage suffered by URSSAF estimated at nearly 6.7 million euros. > Read the article

 

#Banking and Financial Criminal Law:

Frankfurt, future headquarters of AMLA

Following the vote of the European Parliament and Council on 22 February 2024, the city of Frankfurt will host the new Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Authority (AMLA). This decision marks a first, as it was jointly made by the Parliament and the Council, and the voting process was made more transparent by allowing public debates. This represents a significant change from the previous practices of the Council, which were conducted in “huis clos” (behind closed doors). > Read the article

 

#Dispute resolution & regulatory investigations:

117 million euros fine demanded against Leclerc’s purchasing center: French justice declares itself competent

The Paris Court of Appeals ruled this Wednesday, 21st of February that French jurisdictions were indeed competent to examine the dispute between the Belgian purchasing center Eurelec and the Ministry of Economy. Since 2019, Bercy has been demanding a fine of over 117 million euros from this company, jointly owned by the retailer E. Leclerc, accusing it of restrictive competition practices that led to significant price deflation. While French jurisdiction was contested by the Belgian company, which invoked the application of a European regulation, the Court of Appeal confirmed that Bercy’s action does not fall within the scope of said regulation. Therefore, it will be up to the Paris Commercial Court to settle this dispute. > Read article

False Vinci news: definitive conviction for Bloomberg

The French Supreme Court (“Cour de cassation”) brought an end to the legal saga that began in 206 between Bloomberg and the French Financial Markets Authority (AMF) by rejecting Bloomberg4s appeal on 14 February in the case of disseminating information relating to a false press release concerning the French construction group Vinci. Although the decision recognizes that Bloomberg “did not benefit from this publication and did not intend to mislead the market”, it nevertheless considers that the press agency did not respect its professional obligations by failing to question the authenticity of the information before publishing it. The three million euros fine decided in 2021 by the Paris Court of Appeal is therefore final. > Read article

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