French court seizes Tapie assets in fraud probe
AFP/The Local · 10 Jul 2013, 10:38
Published: 10 Jul 2013 10:38 GMT+02:00
- French tycoon Tapie charged with corruption (29 Jun 13)
- French judge in Tapie case probed for fraud (30 May 13)
- French politics needs 'paparazzi democracy' (25 Apr 13)
The charge relates to a €400 million ($525m) state payout Tapie received in 2008 when Christine Lagarde, now the head of the International Monetary Fund, was France's finance minister.
Lagarde was in charge of the arbitration process that led to the payout and investigators suspect Tapie received preferential treatment in return for his high-profile support for her boss, former President Nicolas Sarkozy.
French daily Le Monde reported that investigating magistrates had concluded that Tapie "appears to be one of the organisers of a swindle".
The court ordered the seizure of Tapie's assets on June 28th, Le Monde said.
The payout to Tapie, now 70, related to a dispute between the businessman and partly state-owned bank Credit Lyonnais over his 1993 sale of sportswear group Adidas.
Tapie claimed that Credit Lyonnais had defrauded him by intentionally undervaluing adidas at the time of the sale and that the state, as the bank's principal shareholder, should compensate him.