BERTRAND GUAY via AFP
POLITICS – The long soap opera of the trial of Patrick and Isabelle Balkany will probably soon come to an end. The Court of Cassation has indeed definitively confirmed this Wednesday, June 30 the guilt of the couple for laundering of aggravated tax fraud. The high court ordered a new and third trial which will relate only to the quantum of the penalties.
The former officials of Hauts-de-Seine, aged 72 and 73, were sentenced on May 27, 2020 to four and five years’ imprisonment, a 100,000 euros fine and 10 years of ineligibility, for having concealed between 2007 and 2014 some 13 million euros in tax assets, including two villas in the Caribbean and Morocco.
In March 2021, they were placed under home surveillance in order to serve their three-year sentences for tax evasion, against which they have not appealed and which are therefore final. Then on May 5, 2021, in front of the entrance to the high court, in the heart of the capital, the former mayor LR and the former first deputy of Levallois-Perret (Hauts-de-Seine) were there, welcoming their lawyer with a smile, with their electronic bracelet.
The stake, that day, was to contest “in all directions” these sanctions pronounced of May 27, 2020 in the second part of this case, that of money laundering. Speaking of “persistent fraud” and “undue enrichment to the detriment of the public community”, the Paris Court of Appeal had found them guilty. But their cassation appeal against this decision has therefore just been rejected.
The Court of Cassation breaks two points
On the other hand, the Court of Cassation annulled the confiscation of the Cossy mill in Giverny (Eure), in which the spouses reside, which the courts had pronounced as an additional penalty. During the hearing, the lawyers of the Balkany had indeed explained that the couple could not be deprived of this property insofar as they donated it to their children in 1997. And that they do not have it today. only usufruct. A reasoning which seems to have convinced the Court of Cassation.
The son and the couple who had also been ordered to pay a million damages to the State, civil party, for the damage caused will ultimately not have to do so. The referral court of appeal will therefore have to rule again on civil penalties and interests.
#Balkany : The Court of Cassation confirms the decision of
guilt towards Patrick and Isabelle Balkany for “aggravated money laundering of tax fraud”. For the record, they were sentenced in this section to 5 and 4 years in prison. CC @20Minutespic.twitter.com/cjMQXZCZzf
– Vincent Vantighem (@vvantighem) June 30, 2021
After the first instance, Patrick Balkany had spent five months in the Health prison before being released under an electronic bracelet for medical reasons. No immediate imprisonment had been pronounced on appeal, due to the age and state of health of the duo.
See also on The HuffPost: Isabelle Balkany recounts the return of her husband after prison