prison closes and ten years of ineligibility required against spouses

The main part of the trial of Patrick and Isabelle Balkany, for money laundering and corruption, will begin Monday, May 20 and will continue for one month.

The World with AFP Posted today at 16h22, updated at 20h36

Time to Reading 2 min.

Patrick and Isabelle Balkany, Rueil-Malmaison, December 3, 2015.
Patrick and Isabelle Balkany, Rueil-Malmaison, December 3, 2015. LIONEL BONAVENTURE / AFP

The prosecutor denounced the"Hard to defraud" spouses. Thursday, May 16, the National Financial Procuratorate (PNF) has required four years in prison with a committal order against the mayor The Republicans of Levallois-Perret, Patrick Balkany – if the court follows the prosecution's submissions on this last point, it will be incarcerated as of the judgment rendered.

Four years in prison including two farms were required against his wife and first assistant, Isabelle Balkany; ten years of ineligibility were required for both in the "tax evasion" part of their Paris trial. In this case, the Balkany are being prosecuted for not having paid wealth tax (ISF) and having undervalued their income between 2009 and 2014. The tax authorities estimate the total amount due at 4 million euros.

"Big tax fraudster"

"You are a great fraudster sir, such behavior, especially when they come from elected, are not tolerable", launched at the hearing one of the two prosecutors of the PNF, Arnaud de Laguiche, who estimated under the gaze of the former MP that "The sidelining of an individual (Was) sometimes necessary to live together ». Isabelle Balkany was still absent, hospitalized since a suicide attempt on 1st may. At the end of this heavy indictment, Patrick Balkany spoke briefly: "I made mistakes, that's right. " Then, appointing the prosecutor: "I found it excessive. "

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The tax authorities had lodged a complaint in 2015, believing that the Balkany were living a lifestyle out of proportion to their official income and held a hidden heritage abroad. In detail, the administration and the accusation blame the spouses for not having paid the ISF between 2010 and 2015, despite assets estimated at least 16 million euros, and to have paid a tax on the largely undervalued income between 2009 and 2014.

Luxurious residences

Asked on Wednesday about his expensive lifestyle and high liquid expenditures during this period, Patrick Balkany explained that the couple had " eat " its capital comes from hidden legacies in Switzerland. Isabelle Balkany was late in 2014, owning the opulent villa Pamplemousse (now sold) in Saint-Martin, bought with family money from a Swiss account. In addition to this property and their luxurious mill Giverny (Eure) valued at 4 million euros, the Balkany are believed to be the real owners of a sumptuous riad in Marrakech, and the beneficiaries of several offshore structures.

Read also Balkany Villas: finding your way in a multi-faceted affair

Isabelle Balkany's defender, Pierre-Olivier Sur, focused on minimizing the value of the mill, "Probably unsellable" because located "Next to a giant car park", and the Caribbean villa, which "Worth zero because the last cyclone swept everything". For the lawyer, the difference between the declared income and the sumptuous expenses of the couple is explained "Without any difficulty" by "The considerable wealth of families". His colleague, Eric Dupond-Moretti, pounded a charge based on estimates "Not definitive" of the fisc.

The main part of the trial, for money laundering and corruption, will begin on Monday, last until June 20 and will be the subject of a separate indictment of the PNF. The judgment will be reserved and rendered on September 13th.

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