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Swimming: opening of the Horter family trial in Mulhouse

The case involves the Horter family, well known in the swimming world: Lionel Horter, the club's main coach and former national technical director, was the mentor of Roxana Maracineanu, the first French world champion and former Minister of Sports.

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Swimming: opening of the Horter family trial in Mulhouse

The case involves the Horter family, well known in the swimming world: Lionel Horter, the club's main coach and former national technical director, was the mentor of Roxana Maracineanu, the first French world champion and former Minister of Sports. His brother Franck, president of the club, is an executive at Tyr, equipment supplier to the French team. Their mother, Marie Octavie, was vice-president of the French Swimming Federation. Marjorie Horter, Lionel's wife, is the fourth defendant.

“(Tax) adjustments were made, we started from there for the investigation, on the absence of supporting documents for a certain number of costs for which we are not at all sure of the reality of the service”, Mulhouse prosecutor Edwige Roux-Morizot explained to AFP.

She points to invoices paid by the club, having the status of an association, for the benefit of commercial companies, also managed by the Horters, but also “unjustified travel expenses”. The insurance of personal vehicles of Horter, Land Rover, Mitsubishi or Porsche, was also “taken care of” by the club, according to the Regional Chamber of Accounts.

“In fact, all of this was paid by the community, by the taxpayer, since it was through the subsidies that the association received that the bills were paid,” adds the magistrate.

Dozens of offenses were thus brought against the four defendants, who will have to answer for misuse of company assets, breach of trust, presentation of inaccurate balance sheets and concealment of these crimes.

The family had obtained for the club in 2011, from the Agglomeration of Mulhouse, the exclusive use of a public swimming pool, accompanied by significant annual subsidies, of up to 480,000 euros from the agglomeration, which became a civil party.

At the same time, the Horters ran various commercial companies, including one, the MON Club company, managed by Marjorie Horter, responsible for leisure activities carried out in the swimming pool, while the club focused on the "high level" of sport.

Franck Horter “strongly contests the offenses with which he is accused, he is determined to demonstrate his good faith in the management of the association,” his lawyer, Pierre Schultz, told AFP.

Lionel Horter's lawyer, Thomas Wetterer, denounced a "totally unbalanced" investigation, and announced that he would plead "for release".

Isabelle Rollet, lawyer for Marie Octavie and Marjorie Horter, did not respond to requests from AFP.

The penalties incurred for breach of trust and abuse of corporate property range up to five years in prison and a fine of 375,000 euros. The trial is scheduled to continue until Friday.

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