No “Lagarde List” idleness on the part of French prosecutors this week, as the heir to the Nina Ricci perfume and fashion fortune was convicted of tax fraud in a Paris court after stashing millions of untaxed euros in a HSBC bank account.
Arlette Ricci, 73, was given a year in prison, a 2-year suspended sentence, a one-million-euro fine and had property worth some four million euros confiscated. She can appeal the ruling.
Additionally, her daughter, Margot Vignat, 51, was convicted as an accessory and slapped with an eight-month suspended sentence. Ricci is one of some 50 French citizens accused of tax evasion in the in the HSBC case.
In France, as opposed to Greece, it’s known as the “Swissleaks” scandal. The list of HSBC’s clients was given to the French government in 2009 by whistle-blower Herve Falciani, a former employee of the bank’s private operation in Switzerland, with the list of Greek clients then passed by then French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde to the Greek government.
In Greece, however, the only conviction was a … misdemeanor charge with no jail time for the ex-minister (Papaconstantinou) who received the file. He was charged with removing three of his relatives from the list.