Post a Comment Print Share on Facebook
Featured cita redondo presuntas Or implica

A third trial for the “Wildenstein affair”

After two acquittals, will the Wildensteins be convicted of tax fraud involving several hundred million euros? The heirs of the art dealer family will be retried from Monday September 18 in Paris during a third trial ordered by the Court of Cassation.

- 1 reads.

A third trial for the “Wildenstein affair”

After two acquittals, will the Wildensteins be convicted of tax fraud involving several hundred million euros? The heirs of the art dealer family will be retried from Monday September 18 in Paris during a third trial ordered by the Court of Cassation. In the case, exceptional for its nine-figure amounts and for the twists and turns it has experienced, Guy Wildenstein, his nephew Alec junior and his ex-sister-in-law Liouba Stoupakova must appear, as well as two lawyers, a notary and two managers of funds.

Also read: Surprise relaxation for the Wildenstein heirs

They are being prosecuted for having, after the deaths of Daniel Wildenstein in 2001 and then of his son Alec senior in 2008, concealed most of an estate estimated at several billion euros: sumptuous ranch in Kenya, paintings by Bonnard, Fragonard or Caravaggio, racehorses, art galleries... These assets were placed in “trusts”, companies under Anglo-Saxon law which house assets entrusted by their owner to a trusted person, the “trustee”. For the tax authorities, who had claimed from them in 2014 a total of 550 million euros in evaded duties and penalties, they should have included these assets in the inheritance declarations. Guy and Alec had mentioned 40.9 million euros of inheritance in 2002 and paid - in bas-reliefs sculpted for the dairy of Queen Marie-Antoinette - inheritance taxes of 17.7 million euros. “After two successive acquittals in favor of Guy Wildenstein, we are confident in the decision to come,” Me Olinka Malaterre, lawyer for the Franco-American, now 77 years old, told AFP. The first acquittal dates from January 12, 2017, a decision in total contrast to the severe requisitions of the National Financial Prosecutor's Office (PNF), which had spoken of the "heaviest and most sophisticated" tax fraud of the Fifth Republic.

For a quick understanding of the evolution of what we now call “the Wildenstein affair” or even “the Dallas-sur-Seine”, here is a reminder of the key moments.

Art dealer Daniel Wildenstein, patriarch of one of the world's leading collecting dynasties, died on October 23, 2001 at the age of 84. His widow, Sylvia Roth, renounced the inheritance a month later in exchange for an annual annuity. The collector's two sons, Guy and Alec, born from a first marriage, declared an inheritance of 40.9 million euros in 2002 and paid inheritance tax of 17.7 million euros. Sylvia Roth, feeling cheated by her stepsons, contests the succession. On April 14, 2005, his renunciation was canceled by the courts which considered that it had been unfairly obtained by the two men. In 2009, she filed a complaint, accusing Guy and Alec, who died in 2008, of having concealed from her (as well as from the tax authorities) part of the colossal estate, placed in funds ("trusts") hosted in tax havens. Guy Wildenstein, an active supporter of the UMP, was decorated that same year with the Legion of Honor by Nicolas Sarkozy. Presenting similarities with the Bettencourt affair, this "Dallas-sur Seine", as Sylvia Roth calls it, came to light in the summer of 2010. Sylvia Roth's lawyer indicates that between June 2009 and July 2010 she sent several letters to the two successive Budget Ministers - Éric Woerth and François Baroin - to alert them to this alleged tax evasion, without them reacting, according to her. A judicial investigation was opened shortly before the death of the widow in November 2010. On February 16, 2011, Liouba Stoupakova, widow of Alec Wildenstein, who also considers herself wronged for the benefit of the heirs in the direct line, also filed a complaint . During the investigation, around thirty “disappeared or stolen” works of art were seized from the Wildenstein Institute in Paris and Guy Wildenstein was indicted for “concealment of breach of trust” in July 2011. He benefited from a dismissal at the end of 2017. At the end of 2010, the investigating judges responsible for the investigation into the succession alerted the Ministry of Finance to suspicions of tax fraud. Bercy filed a complaint in July 2011 and then a judicial investigation was opened. Guy Wildenstein was indicted in 2013 for tax fraud and laundering tax fraud amounting to hundreds of millions of euros. Alec Wildenstein's widow and son, three of his advisors and two trusts, based in the Bahamas and Guernsey, are also indicted. We learned in February 2012 that the Wildensteins were asked, alongside the criminal proceedings, for a tax adjustment of nearly 550 million euros, for the inheritances of Daniel and then Alec. After four weeks of trial, the Paris Criminal Court pronounced, on January 12, 2017, a spectacular general acquittal, which the Paris Court of Appeal confirmed on June 29, 2018. The general prosecutor's office, which had taken heavy requisitions, initially instance as on appeal, therefore appeals to cassation. In January 2021, the acquittal was canceled and the case sent back to the Paris Court of Appeal.

Your Name
Post a Comment
Characters Left:
Your comment has been forwarded to the administrator for approval.×
Warning! Will constitute a criminal offense, illegal, threatening, offensive, insulting and swearing, derogatory, defamatory, vulgar, pornographic, indecent, personality rights, damaging or similar nature in the nature of all kinds of financial content, legal, criminal and administrative responsibility for the content of the sender member / members are belong.