Rugby: Bernard Laporte in police custody on money laundering charges for serious tax evasion
Retired President of the French Rugby Federation (FFR) Bernard Laporte was taken into police custody for a few hours on Tuesday 24 January as part of an investigation into aggravated tax evasion.
While he was appealing his two-year suspended sentence for corruption just over a month ago, Bernard Laporte, retired president of the French Rugby Federation (FFR), was taken into police custody this Tuesday, January 24, on money laundering charges related to aggravated tax evasion. He came out in the evening with no pursuit at that time.
“He left without a police summons or showing him to an examining magistrate,” stressed Me Jean-Pierre Versini-Campinchi, one of his lawyers. “It’s an affair he’s involved in as he was linked with rugby friends a long time ago. He has not been accused of fraud or received a sum,” he continued.
A “private file”
According to Me Thierry Nesa, tax adviser who accompanied Bernard Laporte to his hearing, this case arose out of a “donation made more than 12 years ago to a former rugby player friend and associate of Bernard Laporte. Donation that would not have been properly declared to the tax authorities”. “It is clear that Bernard Laporte has not received any sum and is only involved as a partner,” he added, stressing that neither the FFR nor rugby in general “could be affected by this private file.
According to the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF), which confirms information from L’Equipe, two other people were also taken into police custody. The investigations, launched in August 2020, were entrusted to the Fiscal Judicial Investigation Service (SEJF).
This new investigation would be separated from the case that condemned Bernard Laporte at first instance a few weeks ago.
As a reminder, he was actually sentenced to two years probation in December 2022 for corruption. At the time, in an interview with the Journal du Dimanche, he said he didn’t see “why” he should leave his post.