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Revelations galore Reports put Cahuzac’s secret stash at €15m

French ex-budget minister has plenty to think about

(Keystone)

Disgraced French budget minister Jérôme Cahuzac attempted to deposit €15 million (CHF18 million) in Geneva in 2009, but the bank refused to accept it, according to Swiss television reports.

Cahuzac has admitted depositing €600,000 which he had not declared to the French tax authorities.

But the French-speaking public television channel RTS said it had obtained the information about the extra money from “bank sources”, which it did not name.

The bank turned him down for fear of “subsequent complications”, the reports explained, because it regarded him as a “politically exposed person”.

Cahuzac, who was at the time a member of the French parliament and spokesman on financial matters for the opposition Socialist Party parliamentary group, is also accused of presenting forged tax certificates to Swiss banks Reyl & Cie and Julius Baer that falsely showed that he had paid French taxes on his assets.

Transferred to Singapore

When Switzerland announced in 2009 that it would cooperate with other countries by providing information in cases of tax evasion, Cahuzac decided to move his money out of Geneva, according to RTS.

He asked asset managers Reyl & Cie to transfer it to an omnibus account – which protects the identities of individual account holders - at the Singapore branch of the Julius Baer bank.

According to the Geneva state prosecutor, Yves Bertossa, documents so far found by his department seem to confirm that the sum involved here was indeed €600,000.

  

Cahuzac's lawyer, Jean Veil, denied the reports of €15 million being involved, calling the allegations "not credible". Veil told lemonde.fr that it made no sense for Cahuzac "to tell only part of the truth" when he was cooperating with French magistrates investigating the case.

Fresh allegations

In a separate case, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has been forced to issue a formal denial of allegations that he too holds assets in a secret Swiss bank account.

Fabius said that the AFP report was "without foundation" and threatened to sue the French news agency for defamation.

The latest allegations add to the pressure on French President François Hollande's administration that has vigorously campaigned against tax cheats.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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