Bernard Laporte in police custody for money laundering of aggravated tax fraud

The president of the French Rugby Federation (FFR) Bernard Laporte, currently in withdrawal, was placed this Tuesday, January 24 in police custody as part of an investigation for money laundering of aggravated tax fraud, indicated the national financial prosecutor’s office ( PNF), confirming information from the “Team”.

The investigations, launched in August 2020, were entrusted to the Judicial Financial Investigation Service (SEJF), said this source. “He was summoned for a hearing by tax police, he went there with a tax lawyer”one of his lawyers, Mr.e Jean-Pierre Versini-Campinchi.

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“It is perfectly scandalous that the prosecution chose the date of Patrick Buisson’s election to set that of the hearing and that the disclosure of this hearing was made the same day”he added, lambasting “a relentlessness of the PNF”.

Buisson, temporary replacement for Laporte?

Since Monday, and until Thursday, the approximately 1,900 amateur clubs in the country are called upon to decide on the candidacy of Patrick Buisson, vice-president in charge of amateur rugby, to take the head of the Federation during the withdrawal of Bernard Laporte, under pressure from the Ministry of Sports and the ethics committee of the FFR.

According to a source familiar with the matter, this investigation is separate from the corruption case in which Bernard Laporte was sentenced at first instance on December 13 to a two-year suspended prison sentence, alongside businessman Mohed Altrad, sentenced to an eighteen-month suspended prison sentence. Bernard Laporte appealed against this judgment.

It is also separate from the PNF investigation targeting the organizing committee of the Rugby World Cup, France 2023, for favouritism, influence peddling and corruption.

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