French Police Raid IMF Chief Christine Lagarde’s €1 Million Apartment
French authorities executed a search warrant on the home of IMF managing director Christine Lagarde, and raided her home on Wednesday, March 20, 2013, seeking information as they investigate her role in the financial compensation package awarded to French businessman Bernard Tapie in 2008.
Mr. Tapie is a close personal friend and supporter of ex-French president Nicolas Sarkozy.
Sarkozy, is under formal investigation as preliminary charges were filed against him yesterday on charges he accepted illegal, under the table cash from L’Oreal heiress Lilane Bettencourt, which was used to illegally finance his 2007 election campaign.
IMF chief Christine Lagarde was the French Finance Minister at the time, when she interceded in Bernard Tapie’s long-running dispute with Credit Lyonnais, over their handling of his sale of stock in the shoe company Adidas in 1993, the company of which he was the majority shareholder at the time.
Ms. Lagarde, in her role as French Finance Minister, interceded in the case in 2007, having it referred to an arbitration panel which ruled that Mr. Tapie was entitled to compensation of €285 million, and then rubber stamped the arbitration panel’s decision to award these damages.
French investigators are indicating that Ms. Lagarde misused and abused her position of authority as Finance Minister, directing the case to be settled by private arbitration when the French government owned a minority stake in the bank, and since public money was at risk there, the case should have been heard in open court, not privately.
One has to wonder what her affiliations with former French President Sarkozy are, and if there was any impropriety made in the dealings with Mr. Tapie’s settlements through the private arbitration case.
As always, Sam Davis