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Birthday : 01/26/1943
Place of birth : Paris (75) - France
Biography : Politician, businessman, actor, singer, Bernard Tapie is on the French media scene for thirty...

French tycoon Tapie ordered to pay back 400 million euros to state

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05/18/2017 | 06:25pm CEST
French businessman Tapie attends a news conference for the launching of his web TV at the headquarters of daily newspaper 'La Provence' in Marseille

France's highest court ordered tycoon Bernard Tapie to repay 404 million euros (£346 million) to the state on Thursday in what looked like the end, for him, of a decades-old French legal battle that still reverberates through business and political life.

Earlier this year, IMF chief Christine Lagarde was found guilty of negligence in regard to one of France's best known "affaires," and in March, the Paris prosecutor recommended that the head of telecoms group Orange, Stephane Richard, should stand trial for fraud in connection with it.

Tapie's lawyer said he would take the case against his client to the European courts.

The case dates back to when Tapie sued for compensation after the sale of his stake in sports company Adidas to then state-owned Credit Lyonnais bank in 1993.

He accused the bank of defrauding him after it resold the holding for a much higher price.

With the case stuck in the courts, the two sides agreed to a private settlement, and in 2008 Tapie was awarded a 404 million euro payout.

The litigation continued, however, and in December 2015, a French court ruled that Tapie should return this compensation.

It was this ruling that France's supreme court confirmed in a judgement on Thursday.

Lagarde was French finance minister at the time of the payout to Tapie, and at a hearing in December last year, a French court ruled that her failure to contest the award to Tapie was negligent.

The court was a special one which exists to try ministers and former ministers. It gave her no punishment.

Orange chief executive Richard was Lagarde's chief of staff in 2008. He declined to take the witness stand during Lagarde's trial on the advice of his lawyer.

In March, the Paris prosecutor said he wanted Richard to stand trial for fraud misuse of public funds.

The prosecutor's request was made to an investigating magistrate who will decide whether to go ahead with a trial.

Richard has denied wrongdoing. In March, a spokesman for his company said "the accusations raised against him are totally unfounded".

(Reporting by Emmanuel Jarry; Writing by Richard Balmforth; Editing by Andrew Callus)

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Latest news about Bernard Tapie 
05/18 BERNARD TAPIE : French tycoon Tapie ordered to pay back 400 million euros to state
03/08 BERNARD TAPIE : Paris prosecutor asks that Orange's CEO Richard face trial in Tapie case - source
2016 BERNARD TAPIE : Orange CEO under fire at Tapie affair trial of IMF's Lagarde
2016 BERNARD TAPIE : IMF's Lagarde says confident ahead of hearing in Tapie case
2016 BERNARD TAPIE : IMF's Lagarde trial in Tapie case to begin December 12
2016 BERNARD TAPIE : IMF's Lagarde to stand trial in Tapie case
2016 BERNARD TAPIE : French telecoms boss Richard to face tribunal over Tapie affair
2015DJBERNARD TAPIE : Lagarde Ordered to Stand Trial in France Over Tapie Dispute
2015 BERNARD TAPIE : IMF chief Lagarde to face French trial over Tapie affair
2014DJBERNARD TAPIE : IMF Chief Lagarde Not Under Formal Investigation in Tapie Case -- Update
2014DJBERNARD TAPIE : Lagarde Not Under Formal Investigation in Tapie Case
2013 BERNARD TAPIE : French judges seize Tapie assets in arbitration case
2013 BERNARD TAPIE : Orange CEO held for further questioning in Tapie case
2013 BERNARD TAPIE : Orange CEO Richard held for questioning in Tapie case - source
2013DJBERNARD TAPIE : IMF's Lagarde Stands by Arbitration in Tapie Case
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