A Paris court has found the heiress of the Nina Ricci perfume and fashion business guilty of tax fraud in a high-profile trial prompted by leaked lists of people who used the services of HSBC bank in Switzerland.
Arlette Ricci, 73-year-old granddaughter of Nina Ricci, was sentenced to three years in jail with one year suspended and ordered to pay a fine of €1 million (CHF1.04 million) in a verdict read out by a judge at a criminal court on Monday.
Ricci was tried on charges that she hid more than $22 million (CHF22.4 million) from the French tax authorities using accounts and offshore entities based in Panama.
HSBC’s Swiss subsidiary is itself being pursued by French magistrates who suspect it of large-scale tax fraud. HSBC Holdings Plc was ordered last week to post a bail bond of €1 billion to cover possible fines, a move it said was legally groundless.
In an affair dubbed “Swissleaks”, HSBC’s Swiss private bank unit is being pursued along with scores of wealthy individuals whose names were among some 3,000 leaked to French authorities by a former HSBC employee, Hervé Falciani.
swissinfo.ch and agencies