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Insurance: SFAM, subsidiary of Indexia, placed in compulsory liquidation

SFAM, an insurance broker for multimedia products surrounded by legal cases, was placed in liquidation on Wednesday, to the great dismay of employees and consumers “desperate” of losing their jobs or never “seeing the color of their money again ".

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Insurance: SFAM, subsidiary of Indexia, placed in compulsory liquidation

SFAM, an insurance broker for multimedia products surrounded by legal cases, was placed in liquidation on Wednesday, to the great dismay of employees and consumers “desperate” of losing their jobs or never “seeing the color of their money again ". The judicial liquidation of this subsidiary of the Indexia group was pronounced following a hearing behind closed doors by the Paris commercial court, at the request of Urssaf Rhône-Alpes which claimed €11.76 million from it. euros of receivables.

Present at the hearing, Indexia CEO Sadri Fegaier left the court during the lunch break without making any comment, even refusing to confirm the company's placement in compulsory liquidation. He also did not wish to answer the questions of dozens of aggrieved consumers who came to court to bring him their personal files, "ulcerated" by the behavior of the businessman, formerly on the front pages of the newspapers which presented him as the youngest French billionaire.

For years, SFAM (French Multi-Risk Insurance Company) has acted as an insurance broker, notably with Fnac Darty between 2017 and 2019. Consumers could take out a contract to insure a telephone or computer, often for around 15 euros per month. Years later, hundreds of people have seen deductions multiply, from SFAM and other Indexia subsidiaries (including Foriou, Hubside and Serena), without having signed an amendment.

Claire says she was “deducted from 26,000 euros in seven years” after purchasing a computer in 2017. It was when the withdrawals reached “5,500 euros” in a few weeks that she became aware of the amounts and that she objected. “That same day, there were 126 attempts to debit my account,” she exclaims, still stunned. Before the court, around thirty consumers compared their damages: “25,000 euros” for one with up to “18 direct debits per day” for telephone insurance; “10,000 euros” for another who every day still compulsively looks at her accounts “to see if they have started again”.

Everyone has only one fear: “never seeing the color of their money again” because after a judicial liquidation, creditors, including consumers, must report within two months. In the case of SFAM, Urssaf and its other main creditors will have priority. “It leaves hundreds of people in the lurch,” laments Me Emma Leoty, who defends civil plaintiffs.

To deal with this eventuality, it also assigned on behalf of more than 400 consumers, in addition to the broker, the insurers MMA and Axeria, behind the contracts sold by SFAM, as well as Fnac Darty, the professional liability insurer of the SFAM and its auditors. The consumer lawyer also calls for the intervention of the Ministry of Economy and Finance. In 2019, Indexia had to pay 10 million euros as part of a criminal settlement following an investigation by the Fraud Repression Agency (DGCCRF) for deceptive commercial practices. “This sum could be used to reimburse consumers,” Mr. Leoty told AFP.

A second investigation by the DGCCRF, also for deceptive commercial practices, resulted in the referral to the Paris Criminal Court of the SFAM, but also of six companies in the group and its CEO. They will be judged at the end of September. On Wednesday, facing aggrieved consumers, employees and union representatives of the group assured that they “were not aware” that the SFAM’s methods were “generalized”.

They are also afraid: for several weeks, the salaries of dozens of employees have not been paid, told AFP a member of the CSE, Kevin, who did not wish to give his last name. According to this CFDT elected official, present at the closed-door hearing, the SFAM was not able to provide the necessary documents to prove its ability to repay its debt to Urssaf, the social security contribution recovery body. . The judicial liquidation has, again according to this staff representative, immediate effects with cessation of activities at least for SFAM employees in Romans-sur-Isère (Drôme), where Indexia is one of the leading private employers.

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