At the Balkany trial, the audience plunged into an ocean of cash

Daily expenses, plane tickets or domestic workers: the mayor of Levallois-Perret and his wife, prosecuted notably for tax evasion, paid almost everything in cash … without ever, almost, withdrawing it from the bank.

By Henri Seckel Posted today at 06:01, updated at 06:20

Time to Reading 3 min.

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At the Intermarché de Saint-Marcel, in the Eure, the cashiers do not accept the 500 euro banknotes. So on Friday afternoon, when she comes from her neighboring Giverny residence to do her shopping, Isabelle Balkany first goes to see the person in charge of the central fund to change her big bills into smaller ones. "I was wondering what she was doing in life to always have 500 euro banknotes"will tell the employee to the investigators.

At the laundry next door, one day we found seven purple notes in the pocket of a suit of Patrick Balkany. "The only 500 tickets I saw were Balkany"explained the manager of the shop, where the couple spent up to 5,000 euros per year, "Exclusively in cash. I have never seen a check or a credit card. "

On the second day of their trial scheduled for June 20, the Paris Criminal Court was examining the alleged tax evasion of the mayor of Levallois-Perret (Hauts-de-Seine) and his wife – the money laundering and corruption component. will be addressed in a second time. For two hours, President Benjamin Blanchet has ginned the vast heritage and provided a glimpse of the lifestyle of a couple who never yet paid the wealth tax before 2015 – despite some 16 million euros of assets in 2013, for example, according to the tax authorities' estimate – and which used to pay in cash, but not to withdraw.

The investigators thus identified 29,732 euros in expenditures made in cash by the Balkany in various shops in Saint-Marcel in 2015 and 2016, two years during which they have withdrawn only 2,000 euros from their bank accounts. To go to the distributor was useless: the big cuts were literally part of the decor at the Cossy mill, their 1,298 m villa2, eleven rooms and nine bathrooms, to believe the testimony of the small staff that the president read at the hearing.

"He even had cash in the pockets of his bathrobe"

"When he needed money, (Patrick Balkany) went down to his wife's bathroom, says an employee. There were two glass ashtrays with bundles of banknotes. In Madame's dressing table, there were tickets. I could see the inside of the safe one day when he had forgotten to close it, it was full of tickets. Once I dropped a paper bag, there were plenty of notes on the floor. "He even had regular cash in the pockets of his bathrobe", describes another. Summary : "I have never seen so many notes in my life. "

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