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Ingots of the mayor of Puteaux: five people indicted for tax evasion or money laundering

The former deputy and mayor LR, who disputes the facts, has been indicted in this case since December 2020 for laundering aggravated tax fraud and placed under judicial control.

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Ingots of the mayor of Puteaux: five people indicted for tax evasion or money laundering

The former deputy and mayor LR, who disputes the facts, has been indicted in this case since December 2020 for laundering aggravated tax fraud and placed under judicial control.

The new indictments, pronounced between April and August, target his children, Vincent Franchi and Emilie Franchi, and his son-in-law, Vincent Laviec. They also concern Didier Ben Sadoun, account manager at the time of the events, and Olivier Ben Sadoun, former sports director at the town hall of Puteaux.

All are suspected of laundering tax evasion, some with aggravating circumstances such as the organized gang, sources familiar with the matter told AFP, which the Nanterre prosecutor's office confirmed.

Emilie Franchi and her husband Vincent Laviec were also indicted in April for tax evasion committed around the 2010s.

Mrs. Ceccaldi-Raynaud is notably accused of having transferred to her daughter undeclared funds on an account in Luxembourg, including 102 gold bars worth two million euros at the time and nearly 865,000 euros in liquid. According to the mayor, these ingots came from an inheritance from her Corsican grandmother.

For Baptiste de Fresse de Monval, lawyer for Mrs. Franchi and Mr. Laviec, his client "is the victim" and her husband Vincent Laviec "the turkey of the farce".

The daughter of Mrs. Ceccaldi-Raynaud, "very young" at the time of the facts (twenties) would have only obeyed her family, while her husband would have "discovered this affair when he married her" .

Emilie Franchi, who now works in a currency exchange office and is 39 years old, as well as her husband, a 42-year-old restaurateur, "did everything to regularize" the situation, without benefiting from it, said their advice to the AFP.

The son, Vincent Franchi, 44, current deputy mayor of Puteaux, was also indicted in May for money laundering. Denying the facts of which he is accused, this departmental adviser assured AFP that he had only had a role of proxy for this account and deplored a "very long procedure".

- Grandfather and private banks -

It was their grandfather, the father of Joëlle Ceccaldi-Raynaud, who first reported this famous account to justice in 2008: Charles Ceccaldi-Raynaud, mayor of Puteaux for 35 years and died in 2019. Former parliamentarian, the Gaullist Corsican embodied a generation that had transformed the Hauts-de-Seine, west of Paris, into a wealthy department after having been a working-class suburb.

Himself indicted in 2007 in a vast investigation for corruption, he was suspected of being the beneficiary of an allegedly rigged boiler room contract in the La Défense business district. In 2008, he reported to the investigating judge a hidden account in Luxembourg of his daughter, suggesting that it could contain bribes linked to the boiler room. The two were then in conflict for the town hall.

In 2015, Mediapart revealed that this account, now in the name of Emilie Franchi, had been emptied in 2008.

The investigation opened in 2016 by the economic and financial unit of the Nanterre public prosecutor's office was entrusted to an investigating judge in 2019.

In 2021, Olivier Ben Sadoun, an employee at the town hall on availability, told Mediapart to have transported part of the ingots and witnessed numerous withdrawals of money and their repatriation to France, in particular in the presence of Emilie or Vincent Franchi.

"Mr. Ben Sadoun says anything and seeks to protect his (own) brother," defended Vincent Franchi to AFP.

Olivier Ben Sadoun was indicted in August 2022, a few months after his brother Didier Ben Sadoun, account manager. Contacted, their lawyer could not be reached.

In this affair, two names of private banks appear: Edmond de Rothschild and Quilvest. According to two sources familiar with the matter, they have not been interviewed at this stage. Their lawyers did not respond to AFP for one, did not wish to comment on the second.

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