Press review
27 October 2023

Press review – Week of 23 October 2023

This week, the press review looks back at the seizure of almost 60 million euros by French judicial authorities in the investigation against two Russian oligarchs, as well as a conviction for aggravated breach of trust to the prejudice of the Emmaüs association. In addition, the Finance Bill for 2024 includes a tax gift for international sports federations and, finally, the French Anti-Corruption Agency is preparing the 2024-2027 national anti-corruption plan.

 

#White collar crime: Investigations against Russian oligarchs: courts seize nearly 60 million euros

The two Russian oligarchs Alexander Pumpyansky and Nikolai Sarkisov had some of their real estate assets seized, including vineyards and chalets, as well as their shares in several companies. These seizures are estimated at 59 million euros and are part of the investigations opened against the two oligarchs for money laundering. As these are often complex schemes designed to conceal both the origin of the funds and the identity of the beneficiaries, the magistrates of the national jurisdiction for combating organized crime (Junalco) are encouraged to use the “presumption of money laundering” against the oligarchs. > Read article

 

460,000 euros in misappropriated funds, 300 bank transfers, purchase of a Porsche… what we know about the embezzlement of funds by the former president of Emmaüs d’Ornans in the Doubs region of France

The former president of the Emmaüs branch in Ornans, Doubs, has been sentenced to one year in prison for aggravated breach of trust. Between 2020 and 2023, Marc Bianconi, elected president in 2019, proceeded to more than 300 bank transfers to his own benefit from the Emmaüs account, for a total of 460,000 euros, enabling him to finance a luxurious lifestyle. The investigation, opened on September 13, 2023, was completed in just over a month by the Doubs unit for combating illegal employment and fraud (CELTIF), which was created in 2022 and is a part of the French Gendarmerie. > Read article

 

French Anti-Corruption Agency (Agence Française Anticorruption) – Preparing the National Anti-Corruption Plan 2024-2027: public consultation

The French Anti-Corruption Agency is launching a public consultation as a preparatory step for the next national anti-corruption plan, which follows the first 2020-2022 multi-year plan. The upcoming plan is intended to enable the Government to extend its action on fighting fraud and draws on the recommendations of the OECD, the Group of States against Corruption, the Council of Europe and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. The preparatory consultation is open until November 19, 2023. > Read article

 

#Taxlaw: Budget 2024: the Government’s tax gift to attract Fifa to France

The Finance Bill for 2024 includes an amendment, tabled by majority MPs and adopted by the Government, providing for “an exemption from corporation tax, business property tax and business value-added tax” for federations based in France. The aim of this measure is to attract international federations to France, first and foremost Fifa. Although Fifa has had a branch in Paris since 2021, its head office is in Zurich, Switzerland, where the tax rate is just 4.25%. > Read article

 

#Dispute resolution & regulatory investigations : Heavy sanction imposed by the French Financial Market Authority (AMF) for market manipulation

In its decision of 7 September 2023, the Enforcement Committee of the “Autorité des marchés financiers” (“AMF”) fined the French company Rallye €25 million and its CEO at the time €1 million respectively, for market manipulation by disseminating false or misleading information about Rallye’s financial situation. > Read article

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