New legal trouble for Eric Woerth. The former Budget Minister was indicted on Friday in the investigation into a tax boost granted to Bernard Tapie after the controversial arbitration of his conflict with Credit Lyonnais, announced Monday, July 5 to his lawyer, confirming information from Parisian. The deputy Les Républicains de l’Oise, was indicted for “concussion”, that is to say here the granting of an undue tax advantage, within the framework of the judicial investigation opened in 2019 by the Court of Justice of the Republic (CJR).
“I was quite surprised by this indictment which seems to me to be a technical choice and I am convinced that we will obtain a dismissal or, better, an abandonment of this indictment when the Court has taken note of the documents that we have, which are numerous and which show that no illegal advantage was granted to Bernard Tapie “, reacted to AFP his lawyer Jean-Yves Le Borgne. “We are talking in 2008 of a compensation for a loss that dates back to 1994-1995. Between the two dates, the tax system changed. The question is: which is the most legitimate to adopt? That of 1995 at the time of the damage or that of 2008 when we repair this damage? “, he added.
As part of the arbitration, rendered in 2008 and since canceled in civil proceedings, Bernard Tapie was granted 403 million euros to settle his dispute with Credit Lyonnais concerning the sale of Adidas. Part of the money was paid to Groupe Bernard Tapie (GBT), one of the holdings of the former president of Olympique de Marseille. For the tax administration, the money paid to GBT should be taxed as corporate tax (33.3%), but the Tapie camp demanded the application of the much more favorable regime of capital gains (1.67%). Finally, in a letter of April 2, 2009, the ministerial cabinet of Eric Woerth had decided to tax two thirds of the compensation at 1.67% and one third at 33.3%.
Already prosecuted several times but never convicted so far, Eric Woerth has already been the subject of an investigation by the CJR for the controversial sale of the Compiègne (Oise) racecourse in 2010. He obtained a non-place at the end of 2014 in this case. The CJR is the only body empowered to examine the criminal responsibilities of members of the government in the exercise of their functions.