Buying votes, abuse of power... What is Arnaud Lagardère suspected of, indicted?

Arnaud Lagardère was indicted this Monday for several reasons.

Buying votes, abuse of power... What is Arnaud Lagardère suspected of, indicted?

Arnaud Lagardère was indicted this Monday for several reasons. He therefore temporarily left his position as CEO.

Arnaud Lagardère has just been indicted for "dissemination of false or misleading information, vote buying, abuse of corporate assets and abuse of power and non-filing of accounts" this Monday, revealed AFP. He was thus placed “under judicial supervision with a ban on management and the obligation to provide a bond of 200,000 euros”. Following this indictment, Arnaud Lagardère announced this Tuesday in a press release that he was resigning from his mandate as CEO. If he temporarily leaves office, he strongly contests the facts with which he is accused and intends to appeal the decision.

The latter was recorded following a day of interrogation by financial investigating judges. The National Financial Prosecutor's Office opened a judicial investigation in April 2021 following a complaint filed by the Amber Capital fund, a report from the High Council of Auditors and another from the Financial Markets Authority for acts of misuse of property social and presentation of inaccurate accounts, having been committed between April 2009 and December 2022.

The 63-year-old businessman is notably suspected of having dipped into his company accounts to finance his lifestyle and personal expenses. The judges consider that there are “serious and consistent indications” of his involvement in these violations of the law.

For several years, according to these suspicions, these companies "would have notably taken charge of expenses linked to the buildings he occupies as well as an inheritance debt and numerous current account advances". Another aspect concerns a general meeting of the group in 2018. Qatar, the reference shareholder, had changed its vote at the last moment to support Lagardère instead of Amber Capital. Finally, the case is also based on accounting irregularities which remained within the scope of the business manager's personal companies.

Arnaud Lagardère inherited the empire built by his father upon his death in 2003. He encountered numerous difficulties which forced him to go into debt but also to sell the EADS aerospace branch as well as several media outlets. In November 2019, the daily La Lettre revealed that Arnaud Lagardère had refused to publish the accounts of his personal holding company, Lagardère Capital

The businessman is not the only one in the group to have been indicted. He was preceded by Pierre Leroy, pillar of Lagardère, on April 10 for "vote buying, complicity in abuse of corporate assets and presentation of inaccurate annual accounts". Two auditors of the group were also indicted in March for complicity in misuse of corporate assets.

NEXT NEWS