Orange CEO Stéphane Richard was sentenced Wednesday by the Paris Court of Appeal to one year suspended imprisonment and a 50,000 euro fine in the controversial 2008 arbitration case between Bernard Tapie and Credit Lyonnais.

After a general acquittal in July 2019, the Court of Appeal considered that the arbitration, which had awarded 403 million euros to Bernard Tapie and has since been canceled in civil proceedings, was indeed “fraudulent” in that it was biased towards the interests of the businessman.

The appeal court sentenced four of the five former co-convicts of Bernard Tapie, who died in early October.

Stéphane Richard, 60, who was at the time chief of staff to the Minister of the Economy Christine Lagarde, was found guilty of complicity in the misappropriation of public property.

The former magistrate Pierre Estoup and the historical lawyer of Bernard Tapie Maurice Lantourne were sentenced for fraud, respectively to three years of firm imprisonment and a fine of 300,000 euros, and to three years in prison including one firm, 300,000 d fine and a ban on practice for five years.

Me Lantourne was also found guilty of complicity in the embezzlement of public funds.

Jean-François Rocchi, former president of an entity responsible for managing the heritage of Crédit Lyonnais, was sentenced for this same offense to two years in prison and a 25,000 euros fine. Another official, Bernard Scemama, for his part was released.

The court also condemned MM. Estoup and Lantourne, as well as the companies coming to the rights of Bernard Tapie, to pay in particular around 400 million euros in damages to the entities responsible for managing the liabilities of the former public bank, in respect of material damage, as well as 45,000 euros for non-pecuniary damage.



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