Paris 'nightlife king' fined for bribery

AFP - [email protected]
Paris 'nightlife king' fined for bribery
Laurent de Gourcuff. Photo by STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN / AFP

The boss of a Paris firm running some of France's best-known restaurants and nightclubs was fined €150,000 for bribery on Thursday by a criminal court.


Paris Society chief Laurent de Gourcuff, whose company owns restaurant Maxim's and nightclub Castel among others, is sometimes known as "the king of Paris nightlife".

On top of the fine, he was banned from running a company for five years and received a two-year suspended prison sentence.

De Gourcuff's lawyers said he would appeal the conviction for bribery of an executive at the Longchamp racecourse west of the capital, where Paris Society hoped to win concessions including to run the restaurant.


Prosecutors said that during the 2018 bidding process for the 12-year contract, de Gourcuff gained inside information by hosting the marketing and sales director of racecourse management firm France Galop for several meals.

The executive, Fabrice F., also enjoyed a free birthday dinner at one of Paris Society's restaurants, and was promised a job as operations director at the firm.

He was sentenced to a €30,000 fine and a two-year suspended jail term.

The court case was the result of a criminal complaint from Paris Society's competitor, Moma Group, which bid unsuccessfully for the racecourse contract.

Prosecutors went ahead with the case even after Moma Group - which runs properties including the Hotel de la Marine on the landmark Place de la Concorde - withdrew its complaint.

They alleged that de Gourcuff and the France Galop executive "willingly overstepped the requirements" of the bidding process, which bar informal contact between the parties.


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also